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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  April 25, 2013 1:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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was established. and in both of those bills passed in a bipartisan way and sent over to the senate, the senate responded by doing nothing. which is typical of a lot of things that simply happen around this place. in 1925 when the issue of helium was first addressed by congress, we made a mistake, the idea at the time was that dur ridgibles would be the source of aviation for the future and therefore helium was extremely successful. not the first time we have been wrong. the fact that we have steps leading out the east side of this capitol building going in that direction is because when this was originally laid out and established, everyone knew that washington, d.c., would grow to the east. . we've been wrong since the very inception of this city. but in 1925 the federal government enact legislation which created a federal helium reserve. and the federal government basically had a monopoly on the helium market ever since. after world war ii, the demand
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for helium increased dramatically and so congress passed the helium act in 1960. to provide incentives for the private natural gas industry to sell helium to the government which then which then placed it in the federal helium reserve, which led to a supply large enough to supply all of the u.s. federal and domestic needs as well as the ability to sell some overseas. in 1960, legislation required that the federal government set prices on the sale the helium which would cover the costs of the federal government for its purchase and storage. since the 1990's, the federal demand for helium has dropped significantly while the private demand has increased. so in 1996 congress passed the helium privatization act. which was intended to lead to the phasing out of the federal role of helium production and storage, with a view toward allowing market forces to work within the private sector for its production. and reducing the cost to the federal government. the 1996 law required the government to price helium not
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on market prices but only on the minimum price necessary to recover $1.3 billion in federal debt that was incurred to build this helium reserve. the federal government will be able to pay off that $1.3 billion debt sooner than it was anticipated. another cause for celebration. that doesn't happen very often in this nation, in this govern either. but unless -- government either. but unless the particular law we have on the books now is amended, it will close the reserve, leaving no new sources -- domestic sources of helium. industry would be forced to look overseas to such producers as algeria and qatar and russia to fill their need. in essence, if we do not deal with this particular bill, there will be a harm that will impact real people. and i'm sorry that fixing this harm is not good enough for some, it is something that needs to be done. and it needs to be done in an open way which will allow us to discuss some amendments people
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which to present for this -- people wish to present for this particular bill. the national academy of science issued a report in 2010 which addressed this issue as did the general accounting office. h.r. 527 is based largely upon the recommendations of these reports and makes revisions to the law to continue the effort to divest the federal government from its current role as a monopoly on helium production in an orderly three-phased process. the new approach will better incorporate market forces into the production and the sale of helium and will ensure the future supply of helium to the federal government and to private users and will ensure that it will not be interrupted. it's important that congress take a proactive step through the passage of this legislation to avoid disruptions in our helium supplies worldwide. and it would have, if we did not, a far-reaching negative consequence. this legislation is a model of how important bipartisan legislation which addresses real issues and real problems for real people can indeed be achieved in congress. it's a good bill, fair rule.
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mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: before i yield to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, i'd just like to remind my colleagues that, again, as we are debating this bill, which i'm not saying we shouldn't pass, even with all the amendments we could probably spend maybe a total of an hour on this bill and get all of those things taken care of, but i have no problem with passing the bill but what i do have a problem with is the fact that this republican majority continues to ignore the economy. this republican majority continues to ignore the very, very harsh consequences of the sequestration that they thrust upon this country. that they voted for. that they will not allow us to bring up an alternative to fix. i want to read from my colleagues an article that appeared in "the washington post" on april 3. it's entitled "cancer clinics are turning away thousands of medicare patients, blame the
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sequester," that's the title. it says cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts. oncologists say that the reduced funding which took effect for medical care on april 1 makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially. patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to have the entire article appear in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: so the gentleman says that he's sorry that this helium bill isn't good enough for some, he's right. it isn't good enough for me. it isn't good enough for the majority of people on my side of the aisle who believe that we ought to be fixing this problem that many cancer patients are facing right now. we ought to be fixing the problem of the delays in our airlines, we ought to be fixing the problems of these budget cuts to programs like w.i.c., that's the women and infants
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and children program. there are urgent things for us to do. not to spend two days on helium. that is totally unelse in. totally unnecessary. and then take another week off. and to adjourn for another week. while all these cuts continue to go into effect and these cuts, which have a really nasty and negative effect on our economy. so, we ought to be doing our job here, not kicking the can down the road. at this point i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, the ranking member of the natural resources subcommittee on energy and mineral resources, mr. holt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. holt: mr. speaker, i thank my friend from massachusetts, the superb member of congress, mr. mcgovern, and i join him in sing that this legislation represents an unwarranted delay on what should be a noncontroversial piece of legislation. h.r. 527 is a bill carefully written by chairman hastings in consultation with me and with ranking member markey and
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representative flores and many individuals and organizations that depend on a reliable, fairly priced supply of helium. now, most americans give no thought to our supply of li. but a reliable supply of helium is essential for health care imaging, for electronics manufacturing and many, many other activities important to americans today and in the future. and in line with the recommendations of the national academy of sciences, which my friend from utah mentioned, the bill succeeds in averting a global helium crisis that would result from the closure of the federal helium reserve at the end of this fiscal year. and the bill fixes the mechanism for helium pricing so that we can now provide a fair market price to users and a positive return to taxpayers. so i support the bipartisan agreement represented here in h.r. 578.
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but by bringing this legislation to the floor under a rule, which is really not necessary, with amendments and scheduling a debate today, which will end with maybe an hour or two from now, and amendments tomorrow which will take an hour or so, stretched over two days, the leadership has created a deliberate irresponsible delay. we could have dispensed with this in 10 minutes. my colleague said 60 minutes. ok, let's be generous. 60 minutes. but we could have dispensed with this. and instead we spend two days on this and the two days we spend on this we are not considering legislation to create jobs, to provide education and training for workers, to consider a conference on the budget resolutions of the house and the senate. or legislation to undo the sequester imposed by the
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epublican majority and now affecting airport delays and head start limitations and lost od inspections and delayed medical research. and so many other things. the bill could have been considered and adopted under suspension of the rules, but instead we are here debating a rule. it's an important issue, we've proposed a workable solution, there is no controversy that i know of on this so let's pass h.r. 578 without delay and get on to all of these other issues. it's not as if there aren't important problems facing this country. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the words that were give by the gentleman from
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new jersey. he is far, far too modest. you are a co-sponsor of this bill, it's a good bill, it was worked out well. this is not an unwarranted delay bill, this is an important bill that solves problems for real people. and once again, even though i think what you have done with your bill is a very good job, there are others in this body who are not on the resources committee who would disagree and that is why they have proposed amendments. the only way to allow those amendments to be discussed on the floor is not through suspension but going through regular order. i appreciate also the comments that were made by other speakers as for issues that we are taking. i do take one sense of umbrage at the idea that we're going on a vacation again. i do not know how some people try to view the district work period, to some it may indeed be a vacation, for me it is not. because when i go back to the district at that time i am constantly in meetings and going to places to meet with constituents and find out how the actions and ideas of this
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body impact real people. i know just in history of the congress there occasionally have been speakers who did not like to allow people to go back and talk to their constituents. you have the opportunity if you're here all the time of hiding from constituents and not necessarily having that interface. so, one speaker, every time that particular speaker allowed members to go back and interface with the districts and the constituents in their districts, they always came back with a different opinion that had to be remolded and reshaped. some people don't like the idea of actually interfacing. some people think that if we never go back and talk to our constituents, that we're hiding from them and that is why the district work period to me is not a vacation. it's not a recess from what we're doing. it's a chance to actually expand what we're doing so when we come back here we make wiser decisions or at least have a true understanding and implication of what it does and how it impacts the real workings of how congress -- of
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how congress impacts the real workings of real people. i appreciate that. i also appreciate once again the concepts of sequestration. the gentleman from massachusetts i think makes some nice points about sequestration. i think he's in the wrong spot, though. this body has numerous times before sequestration went into effect passed laws to blunt the impact of sequestration. we need to talk to our friendses at the other side of this building who refuse to even discuss any of those bills that were passed in this body to solve the problem before it hit. so, it's a great speech, wrong people, you need to be talking to a lot -- to an element that is a lot more elderly than we are over on this side. and i say that with gray hair. i also, mr. speaker, would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, let me respond to my friend from utah by simply saying, i think going on a week-long recess while people are being furloughed, while cuts in
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medical research go forward, while we see cuts in programs like w.i.c. and cuts in programs like food banks and scientific research, i think going on recess with all of this happening quite frankly is unconscionable. that's running away from our responsibility here. it's running away from our responsibility to our constituents. and we have had an alternative, the democrats have had an attorney sequestration -- an alternative to sequestration. mr. van hollen has tried on countlessow occasions to have the rules committee -- on countless occasions to have the rules committee allow him to have his opportunity to bring his alternative to the floor, he's been turned down every single time. so, you know, i mean, the reality is that, again, i really appreciated my republican friends who came down here and were upset about the flight delays. they're upset about the flight delays because that impacts them directly. but what was missing from their outrage were the cuts in w.i.c. and the cuts in food banks and
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the cuts in medical research and the furloughs. why aren't they complaining about that as well? maybe because it doesn't affect them directly. but i think the idea of leaving here for a week with this sequestration in play i think is an absolute disgrace and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. and once again, nice conversation, we need to have that conversation with our friendses in the senate. we've lrt sent two bills over there -- we've already sent two bill oferse there they haven't addressed -- bills over there that haven't been addressed. with that i'd yield to the gentlelady from florida, a member of the rules committee who has as much time as she may consume. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the gentleman for the time and i so agree with what the gentleman has been discussing which is the difference between recess and district work period. it is so important for members of congress to maintain close
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attention and close ties with the constituents we so proudly represent. if we don't go back home, if we don't meet with constituents, if we don't talk to the lions clubs and the rotary clubs and the chambers of congress and everyday people who come to our congressional offices every day seeking help, remedy from the bureaucracy of the federal government, we would really not know what is going on in our congressional districts. many people prefer to move up to d.c. and they get beltway fever and they rarely go back home and i think that's the wrong approach. so i value the time that we get to be in our districts so we can be in touch with our constituents. i'm lucky enough that miami is not too far from d.c. we have many flights every day. so i'm able to go home every weekend to be with my constituents. but it's difficult to really plan very much without knowing for sure that you're going to be home for an extended period of time. so i value the district work
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period. this saturday, for example, what is my day like? well, we have a student award ceremony where we're going to be giving awards to every student who has gotten good grades, who's had good attendance, who's been most approved, most improved throughout the year, then we'll also be having an art competition and another -- at another local school, i'll be meeting with human rights activists who have come from cuba to talk about the deteriorating human rights conditions. we'll be having a get-together with the dade county farm bureau and it's a very extended day. that can only be possible when we have these district work periods. and on the issue of sequestration itself, as a -- as the gentleman, my colleague on the rules committee has pointed out time and time again, the house has dealt with the sequestration problem, not once but twice. we have passed bills and given them to the senate and i agree with the gentleman from utah when he says it's time for the
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senate to do its job. we have sent them the legislation, it's time for them to debate it, send it back to us, let's have a conference and let's see on what points we can or cannot agree on. but if we keep passing bill after bill and the senate just sits on its hands as it likes to do and doesn't pass meaningful legislation, doesn't even care to debate it, it's very difficult for us to get ourselves out of this sequestration jam. so we are willing to work with the senate and we've made that point very clear and the way that we deliver that message very clearly is by sending not one but two bills over to the other body and we would like those bills to be debated and we would like them to settle on legislation that we can both agree on, that will not be a perfect bill but will address some of the major holes that we have with sequestration, whether it's airport delays, whether they're real or manufactured, whether they are problems of people accessing
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the social service safety net that we want to provide for the ost needy of our constituents. i thank the gentleman for the time. this is not recess. this is district work period. i don't know how others handle their week at home, but i tell you i have a full calendar and that means working hard for the people and this job that i really hold in such high esteem and that i know and i never forget that the people i work for are the people with whom i'm going to meet next week and those are my constituents, the residents of the 27th district of florida. so we can't be successful members of congress unless we're in touch with the people we represent, and i enjoy that opportunity. of course, i get to go back to a lovely district like miami, florida. but whatever district you represent, it's important to be in touch with our constituents so they can tell us their needs and then we come back up here and fight so their needs are addressed in legislation like
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legislation we sent to the senate, not once but twice, dealing with the sequestration cuts and the devastating impacts it has on our community. so i thank the gentleman from utah for his time. i hope that people understand, especially our constituents, will understand the value of district work period and that will keep us more in tune with our constituency and better able to address the needs that they are facing each and every day. and we know that those needs are great. there's no way that we're saying there's no problem with sequestration. this is fine. nobody's saying that. these are real problems. we need to solve them and we have a plan to do it and we've done it twice. so i thank the gentleman for the time, and i will continue to try to work in a bipartisan manner in our rules committee as well as in our foreign affairs committee to see what we can do to make our nation safer, to secure our future for the next generation. i'm proud to have with me here
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madison, a young lady here who is from st. louis, missouri. today is take our children to work day. madison is not my child, but she is all of our -- she belongs to all of us, and it's -- i want to make sure that the future for madison is a bright future where she doesn't graduate from college with terrible debt, where she has a lot of opportunities available to her, where she knows that every path is available and open to her, that there will be no problems for her whether she's male or female, whether you're -- what nationality, what religion, what ethnic background. this is the land of opportunity, and this is the land of equality. and i want that for all of the children of the united states of america, and i think having madison here with me today is a very important point to say to my colleagues, we want a bright future for madison. we don't want to have herb
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houldering this massive -- her be shouldering this massive debt. if we continue to not be careful stewards of the taxpayer dollars, that's what we will be passing off to madison, insurmountable debt and a huge problem for her as she advances in her career. so i thank the gentleman from utah for the opportunity so we can highlight the next generation of americans, the madisons, who are going to inherit, we hope, a better society. if we do our job right, they will be able to inherit that better society. i thank the gentleman for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. members are advised not to make references to guests of members who may be seated on the floor of the house. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i want to thank the gentlelady from florida for her comments. i appreciate the fact that she has a beautiful district in
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southern florida, and i appreciate the fact that she's going to spend her workweek -- her recess going to a student award ceremony to honor kids who have a good attendance record. but with all due respect, mr. speaker, i think it would -- i think my colleague's time and in effect all of our time would be better spent trying to solve the sequestration problem, trying to avoid deep cuts in medical research, that will cut jobs, that will delay advance in science, that could find cures to alzheimer's and parkinsons. if we find a cure to one of those diseases it would make medicare and medicaid solvent for ever -- forever and ever and ever. i appreciate she's brought a guest here on the floor today, a young student, but i would simply say this sequestration cuts education. this sequestration actually
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cuts education. it will be more difficult to fund our schools. it will be more difficult to be able to provide students with the financial aid to go to college. with all due respect with all the wonderful things my colleagues will be doing during a recess, it is still a recess. it is a week we are not dealing with the budget. it is a week we are not dealing with sequestration. by the way, i understand it's become fashionable to blame the senate for everything, but when it comes to the budget, the house has passed a budget, the senate has passed a budget. we're waiting for the house to go to conference. so we're going to vote in a little while and that's it for the day. we're done. we're done for the day. why aren't we going to conference with the senate on a budget? why are we not doing something meaningful? so with that, mr. speaker, i ain respect the itinerary of my colleague from florida, but i'd tell you there are a lot of
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workers who are being furloughed who expect us to come to some sort of solution so they don't lose a week or month's pay, make it more difficult for them to pay for their mortgage and for their utility bills and for their kids. this is urgent, and we are not dealing with it. i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah. -- the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: reserve. mr. mcgovern: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from new york, ms. slaughter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. slaughter: i rise as i start to talk about the lack of work that this house of representatives has produced and how absolutely devastating it is to the public and how angry we are that week after week we do absolutely nothing important. one house bill. this week i think is a prime focus of that. we came in, went into the rules
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committee, put a rule we knew would not go to the senate and we knew the president would veto it but we spent time on it until suddenly some groups got angry and said you better not vote for that. it was pulled off the floor yesterday after we had done the floor and everybody that voted for the rule is already on record if they want the bill to pass. i think it was important. if they want to escape making some conservative groups mad they've done that already. frank pallone was managing the bill. t no notice the bill was being pulled and he was standing with open mouth. this bill we are doing today could have been done on suspension. helium, this whole thing is filled with hot air. and the sequestration i've said and said as recently as said that congressman van hollen has come to the rules three times and four times he's tried to get a bill on the floor which would take away sequestration
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and would provide all of the money by other means, sensitive way to cut, sequestration is going to take. but, no, he didn't have a chance to do it. now we're going to worry about airplanes which is important because i live in a district which does not necessarily have the best flight schedules. but i'm also concerned about the capacity -- cancer patients in this country who are not getting their shots because of sequestration. i'm worried about 70,000 young kids who have been cut out of head start because of sequestration. the answer for us here is to make van hollen an order for tomorrow and take away sequestration and follow his bill and we will get the same amount of money. the idea that squest -- may i have another? mr. mcgovern: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. slaughter: sequestration was an idea that made absolutely no sense. it was so stupid that i think most members in this house really thought they'd never see
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it, that nobody here would be dumb enough to do that. mr. mcgovern and i were smart enough to vote against it, weren't we? so if you voted for it -- but let me tell you, we need to get away from sequestration. we have to stay here and do something because we haven't done anything this whole week. if we're going to do something, make it meaningful. it's take away sequestration. let's get people back to -- the people on unemployment who are barely making it, poor souls, because they can't find the job because the economy is so bad, having that cut as well. i mean, we've done enormous harm with this folly. and we have an opportunity to heal it. let van hollen's bill come to the floor today, bipartisan way, let's discuss that with our leadership and your leadership, bring that out here and bring this thing to a close. what we're suffering now and what people are seeing now with flight delays is only a small piece of it. every day it's going to get worse, and we will rule the day if we had all these opportunities with mr. van
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hollen to get rid of it and certainly we will rule the day if we did not make in order tomorrow when we are apparently trying to work. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, one needs an m.r.i., this helium bill is extremely significant. if one needs to use micro chips, this helium bill is significant. this bill solves problems of real people. and i recognize that we have other issues that people wish to discuss. that's great. this one is one that we should do now and get it over to the senate and see if once again the senate will actually do something, at least on this issue, which has bipartisan support. it's a good bill. i'm going to reserve the balance of my time, but i'm ready to move on as soon as the other side is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i'll close. i'd be interested to know whether anybody on the other side can tell me that when we might go to conference on the
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budget. the house has passed a budget. the senate has passed a budget. i thought the whole thing of the senate passing a budget was to go to conference and work out the differences. i don't know if anybody on the other side has information on when we might go to conference. it's the house's responsibility to ask for a conference. i'm just trying to get a sense, if not today, will it be tomorrow. certainly not next week because we'll be on break next week. anybody? ok. thank you for that informative answer. mr. speaker, let me close by saying, i have no problem with this helium bill. and, you know, there's value to passing this bill. it doesn't have to be passed today. it could be passed anywhere up until the end of this fiscal year but i'm fine with passing this today. it's not controversy. this could pass really quickly, but we're stretching it over two days for reasons that none of us can quite fathom but the problem is not with the helium bill. the problem is with what we're
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not doing, and as we speak, there are people who are losing their jobs, there are people who are being furloughed. there are cancer patients who are not getting access to their treatments. there are poor women who benefit from the w.i.c. program who are not getting that benefit. there are food banks that are being closed all around this country. there are medical research that is being curtailed. there are scientific research that's being curtailed all while we speak and all this is vitally important to our economy, all of this is vitally important to our economy and yet we are doing nothing. we're doing nothing. we are going to wait it out. and what we're saying on this side of the aisle is we ought to do something. we ought to be debating what is urgent right now before the american people and that is the cuts that are impacting them as result of sequestration. that's what we should be debating. i don't know why that's such a controversial idea.
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but we're not. we're not. we're going to do this bill, which is not you are jenlt, and we're going to go home for -- urgent, and we're going to go home for a week. the sixth week of recess since january. the sixth workweek of reelse is. and again, i appreciate the fact that we all have busy schedules when we go home, i do as well. but the idea of leaving here while people are being furloughed, while families are being hurt, i just find unconscionable. and so our complaint is with the fact that we're not addressing the central issue before the american people today and that is these devastating cuts. and i would like to think that we get some clue from somebody that at some point nooth in the near future we'll be able to -- some point in the near future we'll be able to deal with it. one final point. my friends on the other side of the aisle embrace this idea of sequestration. so my friends own it. i think it's your responsibility to at least
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provide us the forum to find a way out of it. and i will close by saying, mr. speaker, that again we have no problem with the helium bill. we could do this in an hour. with all the amendments. that's how noncontroversial it is. but the idea that we're stretching it over two days and we're not dealing with these devastating cuts to sequestration i think is just wrong. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i have enjoyed being held accountable for the senate's inaction on some of these issues. however, we do have a bill before us that is a good bill, that solves a real problem and that helps real people. and i promise you that if we use this bill or if we pass this bill, which has amendments that are suggested, there has to be some controversy, that indeed if we were to pass this bill we would make the desert bloom. mr. speaker, in a moment i will offer an amendment to the rule. the amendment will provide
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suspension authority for potential consideration of additional measures prior to the district work period next week where we will be meeting with people. mr. speaker, i offer an amendment to that resolution. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. bishop of utah. at the end of the resolution add the following, section 5, it shall be in order at any time through the legislative day of april 26, 2013, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1 of rule 15. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the amendment and on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question is ordered on the amendment and on the resolution. the question is on the amendment to the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. the question is on the resolution as amended. those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. he ayes have it. mr. bishop: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 231. the nays are 177.
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the resolution is adopted. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. he house will be in order. would members clore the -- clear the well, clear the aisles, find a seat?
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proceedings in the house will not continue until members have taken their conversations from the floor, have cleared the ell, have taken their seats. the gentleman from virginia. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, today, the administration has confirmed that the assad regime in syria has crossed a dangerous game-changing red line using chemical weapons against its own citizens. the syrian conflict has raised for many months and nearly 100,000 syrian civilians have been killed. the conflict now threatens to spill over syria's borders, destabilizing key american allies. this dangerous conflict threatens american national
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security interest in the region, and i wanted to take this opportunity, mr. speaker, to urge members to attend the classified briefing that the administration will be providing tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. in the c.v.c. auditorium. secretary of state kerry, deputy secretary of defense carter, deputy director of national intelligence will be there to brief members on situations in both syria and in north korea. and with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to say to members, we won't be having another vote in this series, and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to section 13101 of the high tech act public law 111-5 and the order of the house of january 3, 2013, of the following individual on the part of the house to the h.i.t. policy committee.
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the clerk: mrs. gale harrell of stuart, florida. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. you he for what purpose does the the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: i ask unanimous consent that representatives runyan, grimm, lobiondo, and mr. bishop of new york be removed as co-sponsors of h.r. 1445. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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he house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill h.r. 527. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. pursuant to house resolution 178 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 527. the chair appoints the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz, to preside over the ommittee of the whole.
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the chair: members will please clear the well. take their conversations from the floor. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 527 which the clerk will report by title.
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the clerk: a bill to amend the helium act to complete the privatization of the federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interest of american taxpayers, and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, ach will control 30 minutes. he house will come to order. members will please take their conversations off the house floor. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise in support
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today of h.r. -- mr. chairman, the committee is not in order. the chair: the house will come o order. members please take their conversations off the house floor.
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the chair now recognizes gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: as i say i rise in support of h.r. 527. this bill is necessary to protect our economy from a helium shortage and inject free market principles into our federal helium program. the federal helium reserve was first created after world war i. hen we imagine a world already -- mr. chairman, the house is ot in order. the chair: the house will come o order. members please take their conversations off the house floor.
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the gentleman from washington may continue. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. as i said the federal helium reserve was first created after a d war i when we imagined world where blitz would be the fuhr of world travel. although it effort took a different course, it didn't stop the federal government from spending money on this program and stockpiling helium continuously through the 1980's. but in 19902 became clear that the reserve had a declining usefulness and had racked up $1.3 billion in debt. in response, congress in 1996 passed legislation to implement reforms to the program and require the sale and
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privatization of the reserve by 2015 or when the debt was id off, whichever peyton manning cares. however since -- whichever came first. both the demand and uses of helium have dramatically changed . this has created a situation where the reserve's debt will be paid off sooner than expected. nearly two years earlier in october of this year. but while the debt will have been paid off, there will still be helium in the reserve. by law then the current federal helium program will end and the bureau of land management or b.l.m. will no longer have the authority to sell the remaining 11 billion cubic feet of helium. it's important to note, too, mr. chairman, that the reserve contains half of our u.s. domestic supply and 30% of the world's helium supply. so if congress fails to act before october, we will artificially drop the helium supply and cause a global helium shortage that will cost
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jobs and severely disrupt our economy. now, despite what many think, helium is not just used for party balloons. it is essential to our 21st century economy. without helium we wouldn't have lifesaving m.r.i. machines, we wouldn't have computer chips, fiberoptic cables, or other devices used for defense needs. the bill before us today is truly a bipartisan plan. and i am pleased to have worked with the lead democrats on the natural resources committee, mr. markey from mass marks as well as our other colleagues on the committee, mr. flores of texas and mr. holt of new jersey. first, this bill would implement a new operating system for the federal helium reserve over the next decade that would include semiannual auctions. this will ensure that we prevent a helium shortage and that the reserve stays open until all the helium supply is sold. second, it will build on the reforms made in 1996 and inject
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more free market principles into the sales process to get a better and fairer return for american taxpayers. over the last decade, the federal government has been selling helium from the reserve below market prices. as you can see from this chart, this is based on b.l.m. data, the new demands for helium have caused the market price to rise, much higher than the federal government's pricing formula. and much faster than b.l.m.'s ability to track market prices. as a result this has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. this has been been confirmed by reports and testimony from both the general accounting office, g.a.o., and the department of interior inspector general. the big gap is right here. this is what we are selling it for, this is what the market price is. in addition, the current program restricts sales to only a few companies through an allotment system that is
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essentially an olig arcy for federal helium. nearly 100% of our helium supply is being put into the hands of four refineries. directly benefit from the low federal pricing formula while other competitors are locked out. the current cheap price of helium gives an unfair market advantage to these handful of companies. so implementing semiannual helium auctions will inject much needed competition into the program and help establish a fair market price for helium. according to the c.b.o., this bill will bring in over $340 million to the treasury over the next 10 years. the bill also includes important reforms to increase transparency and to prevent supply disruption. mr. chairman, over 20 groups representing the end users of refined petroleum, and these are high tech manufacturers of
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semiconductors, aerospace technologies, medical devices, chemicals, fiber optics, and scientific research all have called for passage of this legislation. although this bill enjoys broad bipartisan support, i do want to take a moment to directly address some concerns that have been raised throughout this legislative process. first, doing nothing is not an option. i recognize that many people don't believe that the federal government should be in the helium business, and i would agree, we must recognize the realities of our current situation. helium is too essential to our economy to see entionly cut off the valve at the reserve. we need this bill to protect our economy from severe disruptions and provide additional time for new development of alternative domestic helium resources so our country and economy is prepared for when the reserve does close. however this bill will make sure that we are building on the reforms of the 1996 act and
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we are managing and selling the helium in a more responsible manner. second, maintain the status quo is not an option. under conditions in the current law, the entire program comes to an end this october. so simply authorizing the continuation of the current program does nothing to address the current issues with the federal pricing formula and the need to implement free market reforms. we cannot keep selling helium to a handful of companies and instead we need an open helium market that encourages morbiders, more competition, and more accurate pricing in order to get the best return for the taxpayer. what we need then, mr. chairman, is more -- no more lucrative handouts, no more government picking winners, what we need is good old american competition. finally, this bill will do absolutely nothing to interfere with private business contracts
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and will not create instability within the helium market. with or without this legislation, the existing helium program and contracts all will end in october of this year. this bill violates no contracts. because none will exist when certain conditions in current law expire which we think will be this october. this is why congress must act before october to establish a new helium program to finalize the selloff of the helium in the reserve. the bill will protect our economy from harmful helium shortage and implement much needed reforms to update the federal helium program so it better reflects the uses and demands for helium in the year 2013. mr. chairman, this is a good bill. it's a bipartisan bill. i'm glad i had support working with my colleagues akrog -- across the aisle on the committee. i urge passage of this
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legislation w that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, is recognized. mr. holt: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. holt: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of h.r. 527 and i begin by commending and thanking chairman hastings for his bipartisan leadership, his outstanding leadership on this legislation and other things before the committee. . this bill was drafted in close cooperation between the democratic minority and i thank the chairman of the committee. he worked with ranking member markey and me and representative flores, and we put together i think a solid piece of legislation. the legislation is an example of how we can work together. i wish it were moving faster on the floor today and tomorrow, but it is a cooperative
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undertaking. as the chairman said, helium is imaging, r magnetic m.r.i., for rocket manufacturing, for high-tech manufacturing and for all sorts of scientific research. for many of these applications, there is no replacement for helium with its truly unique properties. legislators established a federal stockpile many decades ago. that was good and as important uses of helium were recognized over the decades, we can be thankful that the stockpile existed. the frenzy of privatization under the gingrich era in congress has now made this legislation necessary.
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our nation's federal helium reserves supplies nearly half of the helium used in the united states, and if congress fails to pass this legislation, by the end of the current fiscal year, the interior department's authority to continue operating the reserve will expire. if this is allowed to happen, nearly half of america's helium supply will be cut off overnight, creating truly a crisis in health care, research , in electronic manufacturing and many other areas. that's the immediate problem that this legislation would solve, but there's a second potentially more severe problem to be addressed. at the current withdrawal rates we have only five to seven years of helium available from the reserve. reviewed by the national academy of sciences, the government accountability office and the interior department inspector general's
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office have all concluded that we are not selling the nation's helium at market prices. since federal helium comprises such an enormous percentage of the global supply, the price set by the interior department controlled as required under the guidelines established some years back, the global price of helium is artificially low. the current system isn't just a bad deal for taxpayers. it has also distorted the global helium market. and if we continue to avoid a solution, as some have advocated, we could find ourselves facing even more severe helium shortages and price spikes. when the federal reserve is largely exhausted a few years from now. and when there may be insufficient alternative supplies to turn to. that's why we must reform our
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nation's helium policy, put the market-based signals in place that will help provide an incentive to bring new smies online, and -- splice online, and fail -- supplies online and failure could increase reliance on insecure and irregular helium supplies from russia, algeria, qatar and other foreign sources. it could mean higher prices for american industry and for researchers. there have already been interruptions in supply. national labs have testified before our committee that helium delivers -- deliveries necessary for their research have already been subject to interruptions. the bipartisan legislation before us today would address both of these impending crises. h.r. 527 would extend the life of the federal helium reserve past the end of this year and ensure a fair return to
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taxpayers on this federally owned resource. it would generate more than $300 million for american taxpayers, as estimated by the congressional budget office. the bill will increase competition, transparency in helium market which would shift reliance from the reserve to private sources. the principles of this bill are consistent with the recommendations made by the national academy of sciences in 2010 to improve the helium program by expanding participation and openness in helium markets. it will protect federal users such as nasa and the national labs as well as the scientific community by ensuring that they have priority access to this federally owned resource in the short term and exclusive access in the longer term. this bill was created with input from the department of the interior, the white house
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office of science and policy and many scientific researchers. it has support of the american physics society and many other groups and many helium users such as corporations like general elect trick, siemens, philips, intel, applied materials, do you chemical, texas instruments and many others. it's a product of close work between the majority and minority members of the committee. again, i thank the majority for providing that collaboration with us. it's a good bill, provides a workable solution to a real problem. i urge its adoption. i wish we could deal with this problem with this bill promptly and all the amendments promptly. we could be done in less than an hour and then we could turn our attention to other concerns that americans have -- jobs and education, training for workers, a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the house and the
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senate budget resolution, removing the thoughtless sequester that the majority imposed on the country, affecting air traffic control and food inspections and head start slots and medical research and many other things. but instead we will postpone the consideration of the amendments until tomorrow, i'm sore see to say, and eat -- i'm sorry to say, and eat up valuable time we could spend dealing with america's pressing problems. nevertheless, i look forward to the passage of this bill, and i urge my colleagues to support it. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i am very pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, a valuable member of the natural resources committee. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. >> mr. chairman, i rise in support of h.r. 527, the responsible helium administration and stewardship act. h.r. 527 is important
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legislation for our nation's high tech, defense, medical and scientific industries. it will ensure the continued operation of and sales of helium from the federal helium reserve, providing a stable and secure supply of a critical material for the next several years. mr. wittman: this legislation represents a significant step forward in addressing the concerns associated with the helium supply from the federal helium reserve. this also creates a situation where we have a reliable source of helium that's critical to the strategic interests of this nation. this bill also provides for continued operation of the reserve and the sale of helium to private entities, thereby helping to ensure a stable and secure supply of helium in the near term. it provides price transparency
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through clear reporting requirements for both the bureau of land management and for those who purchase helium and for many industries throughout the united states, this reliability and transparency is absolutely critical. h.r. 527 is important and is urgently needed to address this nation's helium supply in making sure, too, that we keep in mind the implications it has for both our national and homeland security. i'd like to applaud chairman hastings and ranking member markey for their work on this bill, and i urge my colleagues to support it. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is yecked. mr. holt: mr. -- the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. the chair: the gentleman from
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georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, like a kid at a carnival, i rise in support of h.r. 527, the responsible helium administration and stewardship act of 2013. mr. speaker, i'm relieved that and i'm sure that the american people are relieved as well that congress is finally going to do something about one of the most pressing issues of the day. ensure access to to helium for all. surely those harmed by sequestration and those harmed by the republican failure to appoint budget conferees appreciate the house spending two full legislative days on this most critical issue. the american people certainly understand the fact that 48 hours of this house -- of this house's precious time was
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necessary to pass such a noncontroversial bill. i'm pleased to support this bill, which shows that this tea party congress will make the tough choice, to keep children's birthday parties on schedule and give industries that rely on helium the lift that they deserve. imagine, mr. speaker, a worrell without balloons -- a world without balloons. how can we make sure that the injustice of there being no to get r comedians, that high pitch voice that we all hold near and dear to our hearts? imagine a world without
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balloons. today, the house has chosen to simply float above it all. and finally we are going to do something for the american people and we should all pat ourselves on the back for that. too often lately this body has sat deflated. not for a lack of hot air, mind you, but seriously, ladies and gentlemen, unlike a noble element, this house has failed to act on americans' real concerns. there are serious reasons to support this, and i do look forward to supporting it. the substance of this bill is not the focus of my sarcasm today, mr. speaker. my point is that america would be much better off if this tea party republican congress brought to the floor issues that mean the most to americans , like appointing a conference committee to work out a budget
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with the senate. sadly, republicans are just blowing in the wind and can't seem to tether themselves down to take up such an important task. 30 seconds? mr. holt: if the gentleman needs additional time i'm glad to yield. mr. johnson: one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: sadly, republicans are just blowing in the wind and can't seem to tether themselves down to take on such an important task. they float off in different directions, unable to appoint conferees to negotiate with the senate. yesterday, despite the gravity of the matter, the tea party republicans couldn't even agree on their own health care bill, which was named the help sick americans now act. with a title like that, i'm flabbergasted, i'm helium flabbergasted they could not pass that bill.
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yesterday we spent all day debating that bill, and today after their failure to pass it, they'veeced to -- they have pretty much made a decision that sick americans can wait. we need laughing gas because of the inability of the republican house to deal with the difficult issues. it's real sad. we need some laughing gas. the sequestration, which is delaying flights, harming our conomy -- 15 more seconds. mr. holt: i yield the gentleman 15 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 15 seconds. mr. johnson: with sequestration delaying flights and harming our economy, our nation needs a little gas. and say what you will, but this is just the best thing that we could do here. so i'd like to float a simple idea. stop wasting our time. let's get to the business that
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is meaningful for americans. and i support this bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i want to ask my friend from new jersey, i have at this point no more request for time. one may be coming, but if he's prepared to close i'm prepared to close. mr. holt: we have at least one more speaker. mr. hastings: i'll reserve my time. i may have another speaker coming. i'll reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. . . . mr. holt: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, who counts among his constituents many who work in technical industries and laboratories who depend on helium and understand that although there are a lot of easy jokes about helium, this is a serious matter. it's a serious matter we should move along with promptly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is
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recognized for three minutes. mr. tonko: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, representative holt. i want to thank chairman hastings and representative markey, representative holt, and other members of the natural resources committee for working steadfastly together to bring this important bill to the floor. the federal helium reserve was created as we know in 1925 long before today's many uses of helium were envisioned. now this element has become an essential ingredient to our nation's research, our nation's medical technology, manufacturing, space, and other activities. helium is used in welding and manufacturing of fiberoptic cable and semiconductors. medical imaging has been a vital tool in the health care system and every m.r.i. requires helium. the list of applications for this element is long and touches many important industries. when the current law passed in 1996, the situation with respect to helium's value and
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usage was quite different and there was an expectation that additional private sources of helium would be developed and then of course enter the market. for a variety of reasons that has not yet happened, a sufficient enough scale to ensure a stable supply of helium to meet our national demand for this basic element, the federal government for the bureau of land management needs to remain engaged in this market for an additional period of time. the united states reserve is about 40% of the worldwide supply of helium. the many industries and research institutions in a rely on helium cannot afford a disruption in its supply. the national storage facility is unique and there are many characteristics of the helium market that are distinctly different from the markets of most commodities. these factors are likely a moreau bust private supply of helium has not yet emerged to
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replace our federal government's role. h.r. 527 provides additional time to face down the federal government's role in the helium market and to allow a private market to develop. there is no substitute for helium in many of its crucial applications. passage of this legislation is critical to maintaining high wage, high-skilled jobs in my district, the 20th congressional district of new york, throughout new york state for that matter, and in many other states across our great country. it is essential that we work with the senate to get a law signed this year to provide certainty to helium suppliers and users. i recognize there are some who are uncomfortable with certain aspects of this legislation. it is not a perfect bill and if the expected development of private supplies of helium does not occur, we need to revisit this issue in the future. for the present, though, this bill offers a reasonable compromise that keeps helium
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flowing on to the market. and that is what we need now. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 527 and maintain a reliable supply of this vital ingredient for the sake of research and industry. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, the chairman of the subcommittee dealing with this issue. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the chairman of the full committee for allowing me to speak. mr. lamborn: i rise in strong support of h.r. 527, the responsible helium administration and stewardship act. our house natural resources committee passed this bipartisan legislation by voice vote and i encourage my colleagues in the full house to do the same. the responsible helium administration and stewardship act adds free market reforms to the current system. the current system allows a small number of companies to have access to and benefit from
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the taxpayer resource which is helium, but it's a good thing to broaden the base of those who are most benefiting from this resource.theris currently instainlt in the marketplace -- instability in the marketplace for the american companies that are the end users of helium. these companies employ thousands of americans and they rely on a dependable supply of helium for their business every day. this includes defense companies, medical companies, manufacturing companies, and a variety of users. numerous government reports in the department of interior inspector general through the government accountability office to the national academy of sciences have all come to the same conclusion. we need to reform the current system. the current system allows a select group of companies to buy a critical federal resource at significantly below market value to the exclusion of other
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companies. there are historical reasons how this situation developed, but we have to look to the future and what's best for the economy moving forward. as a result, the american people are potentially being denied tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue because this federal taxpayer resource is sometimes being sold at undermarket values. it should be noted that over 20 organizations and end user companies representing high tech manufacturers of semiconductors, aerospace technologies, lifesaving medical device, chemicals, fiberoptic and scientific researchers who require helium as an essential part of their daily business who support this bill. h.r. 527 will ensure that these industries employing thousands of americans and vital to the united states can obtain a reliable and secure source of helium while ensuring american
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taxpayers that they receive the best possible market value for this taxpayer resource. h.r. 527 will end the current allotment system and add free market components to the b.l.m. helium program. this will increase transparency between companies and the b.l.m., bureau of land management, and ensure that purchasers of helium will have timely access to the pipeline to ensure delivery of the helium they have purchased. this bill is supported by the i.t.i. and i submit for the record their letter to congress. i urge your support of this legislation and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's request is covered by general leave. the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: i thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the comments of the gentleman from colorado, the chair of the energy and mineral subcommittee. he again reiterates the
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important uses of helium. i would add that any american, patient or doctor who uses m.r.i.'s which depend on helium or any american who uses modern electronics whose manufacturer helium or depends on so many other things that -- for which helium is essential, should be grateful that decades ago farsighted legislators created the stockpile to preserve helium. we now have before us the need to make sure that helium isn't sold at fire sale prices. we need to make sure we have a reliable supply for these important uses. we need to make sure that the interior department is not forced out of the business prematurely. the interior department has
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expressed support for the approach taken by this legislation. again i commend and thank the chairman for his bipartisan leadership to bring this sensible legislation to the floor. i hope that the other body will act quickly, follow our lead, and pass this legislation so we do not experience supply disruptions and price spikes later this year. i urge passage of this bill and i yield back any remaining time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, as has been pointed out on both sides, this is a very important piece of legislation. our free economy is made up of a lot of different parts. and it's hard -- it's impossible to regulate all those parts. the market does it a whole lot better. but in this situation because of past actions of congress, there was a stockpile of
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federal helium and it became more and more valuable, the market prices weren't being got for that valuable commodity. this issue addresses that until the markets can catch up in several years in order to make sure there is a supply of helium. i asm glad to have worked in -- i am glad to have worked in bipartisan way with my colleagues on the natural resources committee. we'll deal with the amendment process tomorrow. that's why we have a rule. there are several members that wanted to improve from their point of view the -- this piece of legislation and you can't do that on a suspension calendar as has been suggested. and we will do that tomorrow. so in the meantime, mr. chairman, i urge adoption of this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington -- mr. hastings: i move the committee do now rise. the chair: the question son the motion to rise. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the aye vs. it.
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the committee now does rise. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. mr. chair. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 527 directs me to report that it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has under
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consideration h.r. 527 and has come to no resolution thereon. the chair will entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. kermit gosnell is a real life han balance lecter. he operated an abortion clinic that severed the neck of hundreds of babies and stuffed their bodies into freezers, plastic bags, and cat food tins. soon a jury in pennsylvania will decide his fate. mr. speaker, the gosnell case must give us a moment of reflection how 40 years of abortion on demand seared our
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national conscience and given euphemisms like choice. more than ,000 unborn children die in abortion clinics every day in this country. while none of these deaths attract the headlines of the gosnell case, each loss is a tragedy. mr. stutzman: each of these defenseless babies are just as innocent as gosnell's victims. just as human as you and i and precious as our own children. there is no moral distinction between killing a baby five minutes after birth or ending her life five minutes or even five days before delivery. in the coming weeks more questions will be asked. who referred patients to gosnell's house of horrors? and what can be learned from these atrocities? today we all ought to re-examine our national conscience. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida -- >> request unanimous consent to
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address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. every day over 3,200 children are born in this great country. the same country that's called the land of the free and home of the brave. this isn't just unacceptable, it's a horrific tragedy and my heart goes out to all the women who feel that abortion is the only option. god made them special and made their children special, too. these children aren't free and will never have the option to be grave. currently in philadelphia, kermit gosnell, and abortion doctor son trial for multiple counts of murder. one count is for a woman who died during an abortion at his clinic. mr. ross: the horrific findings of mr. gosnell's clinic serve as one more devastating wake-up call. as a country we should work to protect everyone, including women and children. when will we be old enough to enact serious changes? these children are precious and are truly gifts. we should not use any taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, and i also believe we should prohibit abortions for unborn babies for
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more than 20 weeks old in utero. which is why i co-sponsored the district of columbia paying capable unborn child protection act. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: there is abuse, spinal cord snippings, deaths and body parts in jars. how hell is that that from that of the clinics around the country every single day? not much. not much at all. will america be told the horrifying details as to how and how often abortion dismembers, decapitates and poisons babies? timothy carney asked
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is a pants for what distinction for what gosnell did and what roy carhart does? when a procedure that usually involves collapsing the skull is done, it is usually done when the fetus is still in the uterus, not when the fetus has been delivered, end quote. that that's it? it's a matter of where in the womb or not that this violence against children is construed to be ok? where is the outrage over 55 million children victims who've been killed by abortion and where is the appalling lack of compassion, where the empathy deficit for the women and children, especially by our president, president barack obama? women and children deserve better. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, there's been a lot of talk in recent months about a war on women, but those using the term to attack pro-life supporters should look a little closer to home for the real war on women. . pompeo: they say the atrocities being discussed about the trial of gosnell are nearly standard nor acceptable practice in the abortion industry but evidence indicates otherwise. the so-called aid for women abortion clinic in kansas city have been the subject of several discussions into the care of women and to the cleanliness of the facility, reports very similar, very similar to those coming out of the gosnell trial. mr. huelskamp: and with abortion providers referring patients to gosnell's clinic, i find it hard to believe that no one knew of the conditions, the retched conditions at this
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clinic. that is where the real war on women and war on children is occurring. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fortenberry: mr. speaker, sometimes it's just so bad we don't even want to look at it. sometimes it's just so awful we want to turn our face away. but we can't. shakena abrams was a 17-year-old when she went to see a doctor named gosnell. he performed an abortion on her. afterwards she was diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized abscess and a clot near her heart. it took her two years to recover. she was just a child, mr. speaker. this dr. gosnell waged his own private war on women. and for what?
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for profit. now thankfully he's on trial and thankfully more and more people are learning about this. maybe, mr. speaker, we just don't want to look because it is so awful. maybe it's challenging our very premises, our very understanding of what this choice for abortion really leads to. but we have to look, and we have to recognize how deeply we are inflicting wounds upon our veryselves. mr. speaker, women deserve better, our nation can do better. why not help young women like shakana and let the healing begin? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i join my colleagues to continue to shine
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a light on the human rights abuses that are the subject of the kermit gosnell trial in philadelphia. dr. gosnell's practice included a procedure he called snipping. this appalling procedure ended the lives of some of the youngest members of the human family. a culture of life needs to reject the philosophy that gives rise to such horror and no organization that would support the ending of such young lives should receive one dime of federal funding. mr. rothfus: i thank the speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> i rise to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise to highlight the deeply disturbing case of dr. kermit gosnell who's currently charged with four counts of fist-degree murder and one count of third-degree murder related to a botched abortion at a former
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clinic. witnesses said he killed babies and snipped their spinal cord with scissors. one said it was literally a beheading, unquote. mr. rokita: mr. speaker, life is precious and therefore every abortion is a tragedy, but this case exposes the full horror of abortion carried to its logical end. as one wrote, the difference between late-term abortion in the womb and the murder of a newborn infant is simply merely a matter of geography. in response to a total lack of coverage by mainstream media, i and many members who stand here today, including marsha blackburn, steve scalise, and the whole who spoke today, wrote to the heads of major tv networks that they cover this and other high-profile abortion controversies. it has received the attention it deserves and americans are discovering that this is not about pro-choice and it's not
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about pro-life, but it's about basic human rights. thank you and i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. -- for purpose does what purpose does the gentlewoman from new hampshire ise? without objection. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. speaker. this week i'm introducing commonsense legislation to encourage public and private partnerships to help meet the needs of new hampshire students and businesses. ms. kuster: the work force development investment act would give tax incentives to firms that partner with educators to improve work force development and job training for students. training a highly skilled 21st century work force is critical for cloge our economy, creating
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jobs and strengthening the middle class. when we invest in our work force, more employers will invest in the united states and granite state. our students will be more competitive in the job market. our businesses will be more successful in the global economy. right now there are companies like w.h. bagshaw in new hampshire that are looking to hire but struggle to find workers with the right skill. my bill would help close this skills gap by providing businesses to team up with students to teach them the skills they need to compete and succeed. this is a commonsense proposal, and i urge your support. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from minnesota ise? mrs. bachmann: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. bachmann: mr. speaker, it's difficult for me to even speak about this subject today. i'm a woman who is been privileged to give birth to five children and i've taken 23 children into my home as foster children. it's very hard for me to imagine, mr. speaker, that a doctor in this country, a doctor who took an oath to do no harm, would in fact kill a woman at his abortion clinic and he would sevener the heads off of four -- sever the heads off of four babies who were born alive and poe continuationly one another and shamelessly the mainstream media has all gone silent and failed to cover this horrific silence against women. no one, democrat or republican, believes in violence against women. we abhor it. but there's nothing that comes close to what's happened in this abortion clinic in
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pennsylvania, and the officials in pennsylvania and the state department unfortunately it appears willfully ignored this heinous crime and also appears this has been ignored now across our nation. well, we won't, and i thank god for the men who stood up here today to stand for women and against violence against women. and i lend my voice and my support to that effort as well. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from arizona rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, today i introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation to help tackle the substantial backlog of veterans' claims. my bill is called the v.a. claims operations and records efficiency act, or core.
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it directs the department of defense to enact of veterans' records instead of the outdated paperwork process that's currently being used. mrs. kirkpatrick: the average veteran waits for more than 257 days for a decision on a claim. about 175 days of that time is the v.a. waiting for the d.o.d. to send the complete records. in arizona's district one, one of my veteran caseworkers is helping several vets who waited more than two years. this is unacceptable. they must leave paperwork in the past and adopt efficient electronic approach. i thank my colleague, chairman coffman, for co-sponsoring this bill, helping our veterans isn't a partisan issue. it's a national responsibility. let's end the backlog so we can keep the promises we made to our veterans. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> i'd like to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. without objection. >> i'm glad our country is having a conversation about gun violence. it's about the children, we say. i'm glad our country is discussing immigration reform. it's about the children, we say. i'm glad we are finally having the conversation about our trillion-dollar deficit. it's about the children, we say. every day this chamber debates and votes on legislation all in the name of the children, we say. well, baby a was a child. had 10 fingers and 10 toes and he moved. he moved before those scissors were jabbed in the back of his head and he moved in reaction to the pain he felt. mr. bentivolio: baby b had 10 fingers and 10 toes. he kicked in his mother's womb. his mother was a child herself.
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scared, frightened and looking for help. dr. gosnell, his staff, the health department and even national pro-choice organizations were in no way concerned with these women, their health or well-being. instead, these entities either turned a blind eye or they were more devoted to a political ideology rather than the sounds of babies drowning in toilets. thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma rise? mr. lankford: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lankford: thank you, mr. speaker. in philadelphia, an abortion clinic murder trial is about to go to the jury next week for the death of four children and one adult. the one adult was killed by an overdose of drugs she was given during the abortion procedure. the four children represent many children that were delivered completely and then
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their spinal cord were cut when they were outside the womb. the defense has said those children would have died anyway. they were small. the drugs they have been given would have killed them already. the surgical destruction that happened during the abortion procedure would have died so those children don't matter. they shouldn't count as a murder. they wouldn't have lived anyway. going to ask two questions with that, introduce you to someone? one is, what is the difference in three feet twoon delivering a child and -- between delivering a child and snapping their spinal cord and the second is, why would we do this to children? i want you to meet olivia. she goes to high school. she was born at one pound, two ounces, just over 20 weeks of delivery. the very same as these children that were killed that day and many days in that philadelphia abortion clinic. we have got to stand for life. we cannot be a nation that does this to our children. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scalise: i thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to raise awareness about the trial that's going on in philadelphia, dr. kermit gosnell is on trial right now for murder of at least four babies who were born alive as a result of a botched abortion as well as a mother who was murdered during the process of an abortion at the hands of dr. gosnell. just a few days ago, more than 70 members of congress sent the letters to the head of all the major networks asking why they're not giving fair coverage to this child. i think we all recognize if dr. gosnell used an ak-47 instead of a scap pell, the media coverage -- scalpel, the media coverage would rival a natural disaster but yet a peep because it happened to be an abortion doctor who was performing abortions. this is one of those untold stories in our country that we
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all need to stand up for, mr. speaker. that's why we're here today. we're going to continue to stand up for the lives of the unborn. and for their rights. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? >> mr. speaker, today i join my colleagues to express my disgust and anger at the barbaric actions of dr. gosnell. the facts of this case are gutwrenching. as a father, a catholic, as a health care provider, i believe in protecting the unborn. this case isn't about -- isn't only about upholding the sanctity of life, but it is also about patient care and safety. further, it shows many in the mainstream media will turn a blind eye if it is in their agenda. mr. gosar: no one can defend gosnell's practices yet his
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criminal case proceeds without the national outcry for justice that we have heard on other murder cases. do we value the lives of infants or the health care of mothers who endured such medical care? the lack of oversight allowing dr. gosnell to perform late-term abortions and murder babies should be scrutinized in the same manner as other cereal -- serial killers. my hope is our actions today shed light on this case and start a conversation to be sure that this never happens again. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> mr. speaker, unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise with my colleagues today to ask why the media has not reported on this atrocity that's been going on related to dr. gosnell. i rise also as a member of congress, but also a minister. and i read an article just recently on this very issue that really brought to my
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attention what the problem is. why the media won't report. the article, talking about dr. gosnell, said, he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable baby notice third trimester of babies -- pregnancy and then murdered these new borns by scissors. he spread disease among them with instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels and on at least two occasions caused their deaths. over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. but then, mr. speaker, it ends by saying, but no one put a stop to it. until we stand as citizens of the united states, until ministers in the poll pits stand and speak for -- pulpits stand and speak for life itself, until we return to our foundational principles, the media, our president, no one else will listen to the cries
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of these innocents. mr. speaker, it is time for america to stand in their defense. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i thank you, mr. speaker, and i stand today to express my horror to accusations made in the trial of kermit gosnell, the abortionist in pennsylvania. mr. roe: these charges are true, they're horrific, and let me speak from my heart. i'm an og -- ob-gyn physician that's delivered almost 5,000 babies and i cannot imagine what must have gone on in the guise of health care in that abortionist clinic. it's physically nauseating to me to think about what this doctor did. life is a precious miracle and children -- the children who lost their lives were blessed with this miracle only to have it so cruelly ripped away from them. regardless of whether one is
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pro-life or pro-abortion, we should all agree that these children deserved a chance at life. this country carries a responsibility and duty to protect those who do not have a voice, including the unborn children of america that represent our greatest silent minority. they are the most innocent among us and deserve the protections we afford to all other people in this great country. one of government's most important duties is to protect the most vulnerable among us. i pledge to continue to remember and striving toward this. if found guilty i expect the full weight of the law to be used to punish the accused and i simply will finish by saying as a reminder to all of us what a precious gift of life our children are. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair lays before the house the following personal equests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. burgess of
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texas for today and the balance of the week and mr. sessions of texas for today and the balance of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania eek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i stand here again today to speak for the underprivileged women and children who suffered under the horrible acts of dr. gosnell. and again i challenge president obama to lead in this unspeakable case. as a father of two little girls just like president obama, it's time for the president to finally acknowledge these acts. mr. president, your silence on this issue is deafening. it's deafening, isn't it? when will you stand up and say that we must protect these women and children and ensure
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their safety? these acts are reprehensible and require, require your leadership without delay. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? without objection. >> i rise to speak about an entirely different topic today. and my topic pales in comparison to the death of the children at the hands of this awful clinic. so please excuse me for the diversion. but what i rise to speak about today is the sequester and the affects on the federal aviation administration. you see, in my state of south carolina, our budget is actually less than it was five years ago. whereas in the last five years the federal budget has risen by 29%. 29% in a time when hardworking
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americans are tightening their belts. where state and local governments are tightening their belts. the federal budget is up 29%. we run record deficit after record deficit. it was sequester where seeking a 2.4% cut after a 29% rise in the last five years. mr. rice: 2.4%. my state has cut its budget with minimal disruption because the governor and the legislature have worked together to do exactly that, minimize disruption. this administration on the other hand is making every effort to make this 2.4% cut as painful as they possibly can. thank you, i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition?
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without objection, recognized. mrs. walorski:, having served in the city of indianapolis, city government, as well as working for the federal government as the united states attorney, in serving my citizens, and that's what i thought federal government, city government and local governments were supposed to do, and state governments, and i've worked at a state higher ed institution and that's what public institutions are supposed to do, they are supposed to serve. and they are supposed to serve citizens. many of us travel by air frequently. and we're grateful that the relative ease in which air travel allows us to visit, whether it's distant loved ones or travel to conduct business. government is vitally important in the service to citizens in air travel, but once again the federal aviation administration is finding more important -- is finding it more important to play politics with air travel and air service than to serve the citizens, which is what government is supposed to do.
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the f.a.a. has decided to implement president obama's sequester by furloughing employees like their air traffic controllers, vitally important to the service and safety of our country, and causing delays up to 40% of u.s. flights. if this is the only way -- this isn't the only way the f.a.a. could save money. there are many other ways the f.a.a. could save money. and they were provided the flexibility to save that money. but instead in 2010 alone the f.a.a. spent $8 million on employee conferences. there are many ways they are not serving us. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. mica: thank you, mr. speaker. f.a.a. furloughs of air traffic controllers and threats to delay flights represent an absolutely colossal failure of
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this administration. the f.a.a., the obama administration knew about sequestration. in fact, the f.a.a. knows and this chart shows that in fact air traffic is down some 27% in the last decade. f.a.a. failed to make reductions where air traffic has actually been reduced. the f.a.a. knows which airports they can reduce their work force, we've got a report right here that outlines in detail where we have more air traffic controllers than we need. the obama administration is poking congress and the american people, the flying public, in the eye. there's no reason for this mess. i tell you this, if ronald reagan were president this whole fiasco would have been over monday morning. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina eek recognition?
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without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. these f.a.a. flight delays have been in effect for less than a week and already the american people are suffering. f.a.a.'s final -- financial mismanagement is now costing americans time and money and yet the administration has done nothing to reverse it. at a time when families are traveling to see their kids graduate from college, fly across the country to take care of their elderly parents and make business trips to help support their families, these delays are inexcusable. that's why house republicans voted twice to replace president obama's sequester, with reasonable and responsible spending cuts. because we wanted to prevent things like this from happening. so i encourage all of you, when you travel home this week, to talk to people in your hometown airports, take pictures and engage the people you meet about what they're experiencing and then tweet those stories
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hashtag, #obamaflightdelays. encourage the administration to stop playing politics with the american people. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. speaker, this week the "chicago tribune" published an editorial that stated what many of us have known for months. this administration is playing political games by attempting to make the sequestration as painful as possible on americans. especially traveling americans. the f.a.a. furloughs announced this week, they're not just wrong, they're irresponsible.
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the bottom line is the f.a.a. has the flexibility to find money and minimize the impact to the traveling public. even more concerning is that the f.a.a. has chosen not to implement the furloughs in a way that could protect the most critical air traffic control operations and facilities. they're indiscriminantly furloughing everyone in the f.a.a. air traffic controllers are being furloughed as the -- at the at the same rate as nontraffic controllers. waterloo in iowa is not chicago o'hare. the f.a.a. needs to manage better and they need to do it now. mr. davis: there's still time for the administration and the f.a.a. to reverse course on these decisions and start making the right decision instead of trying to simply score political points by playing the political game of chicken. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from missouri seek recognition?
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without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. >> mr. speaker, we have seen these political games played before with the sequestration. and the american people have responded unfavorably every time. this decision to furlough air traffic controllers by the f.a.a. is no different. staff shortages as a result of these furloughs led to more than 2,250 flight delays in the first two days alone. greatly, greatly inconveniencing the schedules of many people trying to travel across our country. mrs. wagner: these delays are all unnecessary. there are 2.7 billion -- $2.7 billion in nonpersonnel operational costs that the house transportation committee has identified and which could be examined before furloughs that ultimately hurt the american people. the f.a.a. and this administration have decided to
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inconvenience the american traveler instead of using its flexibility within the agency to enact these cuts in a responsible manner. when air traffic controllers are being furloughed, yet workers helping implement obamacare have been unaffected, it becomes clear on where this administration's priorities are. i am very concerned with democrats using this latest example of a manufactured crisis to cut workers, not waste. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. people, we live in a representative republic, and so the people expect us at our different levels of government to go to washington, go to your local state capitals and get
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the job done and do it right. we appoint people to get these jobs done for us that you expect. whether the president does the appointments or somehow the house and the senate approves them. and yet washington, d.c., has fallen down on the job on this issue of faumplet and air traffic control -- f.a.a. and air traffic controllers and delays that will affect real american people. mr. lamalfa: it's shameful we are manipulated in this way because what we've seen since 1996, the budget for f.a.a. has increased 110%. and now in this fiscal crisis this country is seeing, where everybody's having to cut back, whether personally in our own lives or in government, that we're finding ways to try and trim the cost of doing business of government a little bit. 4% cut in f.a.a. resulting in 40% of our flights being delayed? that's an outrage. should be an outrage to every individual out there that we're
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being manipulated this way with a $16 trillion-plus deficit we can't get this right. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lamalfa: miss conceptions. we're hurting the american public with these delays. i ask the administration do better. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. first, let me say that i'm pleased to anchor this progressive caucus on iraq with my colleague from california, congresswoman maxine waters. let me thank congresswoman waters, who's the founder of the out-of-iraq caucus. congresswoman waters had the vision and the determination to pull together members of the house who really needed some space, who needed to be able to
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provide legislative strategies and to beat the drum to end this war in iraq. the country owes congresswoman waters a debt of gratitude, and we thank you very much for that. i also want to acknowledge congresswoman lynn woolsey who retired from congress at the end of last year but who looms so large during the special order, giving her incredible leadership in working to end the war in iraq and to bring our troops home. she is and remains our sister in arms when it comes to working for global peace and security for our children, all of our collective work. it was no wonder that many observers called congresswoman waters, woolsey and myself the tried a, but it was congresswoman -- triad, but it was congresswoman woolsey who coined this term. we reflect on the 10-year anniversary of the start of the
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unnecessary, immoral and costly war. to remember and pay tribute to the sacrifices of our troops, those who lost their lives, the injured, their families and the loved ones, many of whom are still grabbling with the scars and the impact of the -- grappling with the scars and the impact of the war. we also reflect on the cost of this war on blood and treasure. the cost of this war, $800 trillion, 486 soldiers, an untold number of iraqi civilians, countless refugees. but also on the lost opportunity costs of this war to our country. instead of spending $800 billion on iraq, we could have created jobs, we built our crumbling infrastructure our invested in our schools to provide every child with a 21st century education. sadly, this list goes on and on.
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and it is especially painful when we understand that this war never should have happened in the first place. it was a poor choice, it was unnecessary, it was immoral and it was wrong. over 10 years now and the run up to the war, there were those of us in congress and those in the anti-war movement who fought the launch of the war. we had questions about weapons of mass destruction claims. we pushed for hearings. we called for a full debate, and we called to halt the rush to war. in october, 2002, the bush administration pushed for invading iraq. during that time, i was on the foreign affairs committee. i proposed an amendment which the rules committee made in order, brought that amendment to the floor. that would have required the united nations to continue with weapons inspections. at that time i stated on this house floor unilateralism is really not the answer.
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if iraqi weapons of mass destruction are a problem to the world compuent, yes, we must confront -- community, yes, we must confront it and do it through the united nations and determine whether or not there are weapons of mass destruction in iraq. 72 of my colleague voted in favor of this amendment, which would have led us to the same conclusion that so many soldiers lost their lives and limbs to reach, that there were no weapons of mass destruction in iraq. we you a know the tragedy that followed. the bush administration launched its war of choice, claimed its mission accomplished and chose to send palettes of shrink wrapped cash and send more of our brave young men and women to fight on and on despite the fact there were no real military solution to the quagmire that the bush administration created. it's important to remember that this war did not go
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unchallenged, that there was tremendous ground swell of opposition and that that was critical in demanding its end and helping bring it to a close finally under president obama. in congress this opposition was centered around the out-of-iraq caucus which congresswoman waters, which i mentioned earlier, founded and also congresswoman woolsey and myself helped co-find. this was in 2005. together we held ad hoc hearings that the republican congressional leadership refused to hold. we sound the alarm. i am here to acknowledge, which i know congresswoman waters will, because i know this is an important benchmark, that congresswoman waters on this point delivered 441 floor speeches over the last decade to call for the war's end.
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441 speeches. we worked with our grassroots allies like moveon, win without war, progressive democrats of america, the friends committee on national legislation, united for peace and justice, peace action, great leaders like tom hayden and others to help build a movement to bring our troops home. and i recall vividly when we mamped here in washington, d.c., -- marched here in washington, d.c., past the white house, with hundreds of thousands of protestors in protest of the war. these rallies happened all across the country and of course i have to say in northern california and especially in the east bay and in san francisco, the entire bay area of california were really at the forefront of this effort. of course we worked the legislative process as hard as we possibly could. there were many members of the out-of-iraq caucus who led important legislative efforts to end the war. i recall clearly the efforts of congresswoman woolsey who offered the very first sense of
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congress resolution calling for an end to the war and to bring our troops home. from what i remember, she received approximately 132, 133 votes for that resolution, but that was another defining moment. there was a resolution that i offered very early on to repeal the doctrine of preemption. that's preemptive war. that's prevent a war to start a future war. there was the mcgovern amendment led by congressman mcgovern who led on the effort to bring a responsible end to the war by calling for a timetable. and of course my annual lee amendment to limit the funding for the safe, timely and orderly withdrawal of our troops. what this lee amendment was trying to accomplish was to stop the funding and end combat operations but protect our troops and contractors and bring them home. and one of my amendments, the lee amendment, eventually was signed into law and that would
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to prohibit permanent bases in iraq. that is, was, continues to be the law of the land. and there were so many other efforts led by members of the out-of-iraq caucus, from amendments to resolutions to letters and to floor action. i want to stop now and yield to my colleague from california and yield as much time as she may consume and just once again thank her for her tremendous leadership, in case she has to leave early before this hour ends. ms. waters: i'd like to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for congresswoman barbara lee. i want to thank her for having the vision to organize today's activities and to say to me and our other friend, lynn woolsey, let us not let this moment pass without reminding this country that it was 10 years ago that
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we were involved in the invasion of iraq, and let's talk about the consequences of that and let us do everything that we can to continue to be a voice for peace. i want to thank you, barbara lee, not only for today, but i'm reminded of the courageous action that you took when you warned us when there was legislation authorizing the use of military force that we should have all been against it. however, you were the lone voice in the house of representatives who voted against that authorization. so i thank you for your work, for your guidance and for your leadership. you're absolutely correct. june, 2005, i became the chair and a founding member of the out-of-iraq congressional caucus, along with you, representative barbara lee, and, of course, our friend, representative lynn woolsey.
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as a matter of fact, we became known as the triad, and i wanted you to know that a combination of actions that we took helped to galvanize this congress and increased attention on this very issue. and i'll never forget over 441 speeches that were made on the floor by our friend, congresswoman woolsey, and she's not here today because she's retired, but we will always remember the care and concern that she gave to this issue. on march 19, 2003, the brave men and women of our armed forces were ordered into service in iraq. in the following years, nearly 4,500 of those service members would not return home to the united states, and tens of thousands would come back wounded, injured and their lives changed forever. i voted against the war authorization in the first place, and in hindsight, i know
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there are many members who also wish they had voted against it. it was in that spirit that the out-of-iraq caucus was established, to bring to the house of representatives an ongoing debate about the war in iraq and to urge the return of u.s. service members to their families as soon as possible. the out-of-iraq caucus provided a real voice in congress for the individuals and groups who supported these efforts. we had a membership of nearly 80 representatives from diverse constituencies. as a caucus, we kept in close communication with congressional leadership, committee chairmen to drive congress toward our objective of ending the war in iraq. we also worked with other congressional caucuses and national organizations to hold hearings, press conferences and town hall meetings to educate the american people and pressure the bush administration to conclude the war in iraq. at the time our most important legislative goal was to end the iraq war and bring our troops
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home to their families. our work helped define the national debate on how this could be accomplished. we again organized community rallies against the war. we marched in parades. we held press conferences. we worked with the mothers of many of our young men and women who were in the war, who were serving in the war, and we worked with many of the veterans organizations. i, too, offered a series of legislation to buttress our legislation that our troops must be safely and speededly redeployed from iraq and that we must work to restore peace in iraq. i introduced bills such as h.r. 3134, responsible security in iraq act. h.r. 5488, iraq displacement coordinator. r. 7215, human costs in iraq act. h.res. 1326, honor iraq
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sovereignty. and, of course, h.res. 1519, press freedom in iraq. on the one-year anniversary of the founding of the out-of-iraq caucus, i launched a campaign to inform the public about you'll 73 and ms. lee, remember john murtha, former member of this house who's now deceased who introduced h.j.res. 73, now known as the murtha plan, which established a reasonable timetable for the redeployment of our troops from iraq. we all worked with him on that legislation. and we honor him even today for his wisdom and his foresight. i want to just do one thing before i have to leave. and that is read a letter to president bush that we all sent , funding only for redeployment of troops, if you recall, by the following year in 2007 we as a caucus delivered a letter to president bush signed by 92
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members of congress. which stated our intent to only support more funding for the orderly redeployment of our u.s. troops from iraq. in the letter we cited the tremendous human and financial costs of the president's failed iraq policy. and because of you, barbara lee, i'd like to share this letter. because you were in the leadership of this. it said, dear mr. president, we're writing to inform you that we will only support appropriations, additional fubbleds for u.s. military -- funds for u.s. military operations in iraq for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of iraq before you leave office. more than 3,600 of our brave soldiers have died in iraq. more than 26,000 have seriously been wounded. hundreds of thousands of iraqis have been killed or injured in the hostilities and more than four million have been displaced from their homes.
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furthermore, this conflict has degenerated into a sectarian civil war and u.s. taxpayers have paid more than $500 billion, despite assurances that you, your key advisors gave our nation at the time you ordered the invasion in march, 2003, that this military intervention would cost far less and be paid for from iraq oil revenues. remember that? we agree with the clear -- we agree with the clear and growing majority of the american people who are opposed to continue open-ended u.s. military operations in iraq and we believe it is unwise and unacceptable for you to continue to unilaterally impose the staggering cost and the soaring debt on americans currently and for generations to come. sincerely and signed by all 93 members at that time.
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our efforts gained momentum and by late 2008, president bush signed the status of forces agreement, which mandated that the u.s. shall completely withdraw from iraq no later than december 31, 2011, and all u.s. combat forces shall withdraw from iraq cities before june 30, 2009. as the caucus we continued to hold hearings and briefings and speaking on this very floor until president obama, who initially opposed the war, approved an 18-month redeployment plan that would begin in september, 2009, and end in december of 2011. ms. lee, i'm sorry that i'm going to have to leave the floor because i have a meeting scheduled with the financial services committee but i'd like to say before i leave, again, thank you for your leadership, thank you for your wisdom, thank you for having always been identified as a woman of peace, a woman who understood
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and believed and worked for peace and who has always believed that whatever our differences are in the world, that we must find ways to the have the kind of diplomacy that can resolve these differences. some people think that this is not possible. but i know that those of us who believe this will continue to fight and to work for peace on earth and goodwill toward all men and women. i yield back my time. mr. lee: well, thank you so much -- ms. lee: well, thank you so much for that statement and for your kind remarks. let me just say to you also, you have been a woman who has always believed that peace is possible and peace is patriotic. and so i just want to thank you for your leadership, for being here with us and just say how proudly -- proud we are that you're our financial services ranking member also. thank you. let me take a moment now to yield to the gentleman from california, congressman mark
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takano, who has been way out there in terms of opposing this war from day one. thank you again for being here. mr. takano: thank you. i want to thank the gentlelady from california for yielding me some time. i'm going to switch subjects a little. i want to rise today to express my support for the immigration proposal released last week by the bipartisan group of senators called the gang of eight. while this bill is not perfect, and i have serious doubts about several provisions in it, it shows that both sides of the aisle can work together on issues facing our nation, that democrats and republicans can work together. i am pleased that the proposal provides a powerful way to citizenship, a fast track for dreamers and increase a number of high-skilled worker visas and an opportunity for immigrants who have been deported on noncriminal grounds to apply for readmittance if they have a spouse or children
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in the united states. i do however have some concerns regarding the legislation, including the fact that it fails to address binational lgbt families. more than a dozen country as i lou same-sex partner sponsoring -- allow same-sex partner sponsoring including brazil, democrat mark, finland, france, israel, new zealand, norway, south africa, sweden, the united kingdom and many more. the united states should be no different. keeping these loving families apart is wrong and it's bad for the economy. take the story of southern california residents brian and michael. they met in 2005, became engaged the next year in paris and were married during the brief window during which same-sex marriage was legal in dal -- in california.
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brian has been an educator for over 20 years, teaches humanities courses at a magnet school during the day and at los angeles community college at night. his husband, michael, came to the united states from malaysia on a student visa in 2005 and since then has been the perfect example of the kind of immigrant we want to keep here. he has earned a masters degree in nursing and is currently working on a doctorate in the same field. michael and brian have shared share lives for almost 10 -- have shared their lives for almost 10 years and can't even travel internationally to see michael's family because of the visa restrictions placed on them. what's going to happen to michael when he completes his education? what are we really going -- what -- are we really going to break up this family? are we really going to send a well-trained medical professional back? the debate on reforming our immigration are system is not over -- immigration system is
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not over. i plan on working with members of congress from both sides of the aisle, from both houses, to ensure that binational lgbt milies are given the same opportunities as everyone else. thank you and i yield back. ms. lee: thank you very much. let me go back now to the 10th anniversary of this unfortunate war, mr. speaker. i'm going to introduce now into the record tonight a timeline of some of what we have talked about tonight, because they should be remembered and because these efforts and efforts of the movement that ended this war finally did make a difference. though obviously not as quickly as we wanted, we did make a difference together. after years of speaking out and as the toll of the iraq war stretched the patience of the american people, public opinion started turning. people began asking, what were we doing in iraq?
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iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, as the bush administration told us. iraq had not been involved in the 9/11 attacks as suggested by the bush administration. then secretary of state colin powell made a presentation at the united nations that was greatly misleading, stating that iraq possessed extremely dangerous weapons of mass destruction. some of you may remember the smoking cloud that he talked about, it was just really very, very tragic. he described biological weapons factories on wheels and estimated that iraq had, i believe it was between 100 and 150 tons -- i believe it may have been 500 tons of chemical weapons stockpiled. all those claims about weapons of mass destruction turned out
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to be false. secretary of state powell's own chief of staff, colonel lawrence wilkerson, later said about his own participation in the deception at the united nations, he said, i participated in a hoax, a hoax on the american people, the international community and the united nations security council. iraq did not present a clear and present danger to the united states. secretary powell and his staff, they knew this. president bush, they knew this. vice president cheney, they knew this. but they wanted their war. and they deceived the united nations and scared the american public to justify their war of choice. i just -- i distinctly remember the day, in may, 2003, 10 years ago next week, when president bush stood on the deck of the u.s.s. abraham lincoln and proclaimed mission accomplished. of course the mission was far from accomplished.
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the war was to drag on for another eight years. now, president obama committed to ending the war during his campaign and he of course did as president. while the war in iraq is over, its legacy continues and the lessons still have yet to be learned. we need to look closely at the decisions made, understand the mistakes and misjudgments and ensure that we never again repeat such a tragedy. i remember in guiana, in the language of guiana there's a -- ghana, there's a mythical bird. it's a bird flying forward and looking back. the message is that in order to not make the same mistakes as we move forward, we have to look back. we have to know our history. we have to know where we came from. what we have done. in order to move forward and we should learn from those mistakes.
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the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction issued its final report to congress just last month detailing billions and billions of dollars lost to waste, fraud and abuse. the occupation of iraq was characterized by poor planning by the bush administration, who ignored state department and usaid analysis, envisioning protracted u.s. involvement in iraq, requiring substantial spending for many years. the pentagon was left in charge of managing postwar iraq and defense secretary donald rumsfeld famously underestimated the resources needed to stabilize the country. when lieutenant general jay gardner told secretary rumsfeld that the united states might need to spend billions of dollars to rebuild iraq, rumsfeld responded, quote, if you think we're going to spend $1 billion of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken.
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well, of course, it was mr. rumsfeld who was sadly mistaken. and the american public who was sadly misled and the iraqi people who sadly suffered from the chaos and destruction unleashed by ideologues who used iraq as a laboratory for a light footprint war. mr. speaker, unfortunately those lost opportunities and tragic mistakes are not behind us. i'd like to take a moment now and yield to my friend and colleague, a woman who has consistently been against the war and has stood for peace all of her life, congresswoman sheila jackson lee. i'd like to yield her as much ime as she may consume.
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jole jackson lee let me thank -- ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentlelady from california and i particularly thank for your astuteness for bringing us together. if i might reflect on memory lane that was painful, we traveled a lot together, and i think of the moments in history on the iraq war, the rising up the american people was powerful. from san francisco to places in between to the quarter of a million people that walked down 53rd, 57th street in new york on a cold morning, i believe, in january, people all over america recognized that it was not these brave men and women that you see here.
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and i brought pictures of wonderful families and men and women who were called to serve, who we continue to honor and appreciate. i thought it was important to acknowledge that our soldiers have families. we see it all the time. my district is near ellington field, and it is increasingly becoming a base utilizing the talents of young americans who are willing to volunteer. so i take this 10th anniversary as well to pay tribute to them and those who still serve in foreign fields around the world. we know that they still serve in iraq and afghanistan. so we come here today on the 10th anniversary to simply ask the question why, and that when we ask the question why it is not a selfish question on behalf of members of congress. it is a question on behalf of those brave men and women who, no matter -- who calls them as commander in chief and for what
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cause, they accept the cause. for that reason it is combafe tif that we understand -- imperative that we understand the battle that they are called. in the iraq war, we have come to complete conclusion there were no such weapons of mass destruction. we all knew saddam hussein and none of us adhered to his horrible governance, but i will tell you, my colleagues thought the same thing, that our approach should have been different. the bloodshed, not only of the young men and women that you see here, some of their comrades were lost, but the millions -- the number of iraqi people who themselves their lives were lost and, of course, still continue to be in danger. the iraq warsaw more than 4,400 brave -- the iraq war saw more than 4,400 brave men and women
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who wore the united states uniform see their sacrifice and tens of thousands who were wouned. over 32,000 of the men and women who came home suffered wounds, but as we know those numbers have risen. 500 and more were in the state of texas. some 3,000 of the wounded call texas their home. 500 lost their lives. we know the scars that were left on families, children, wives, mothers and fathers. we realize that we needed to make a better judgment. as the tragedy unfolded in boston, one of the emergency physicians, one of the medical professionals said they knew exactly what it was because they had been in iraq and they understood the sound of the i.e.d. how many of our brave men and women encountered these i.e.d.'s, these makeshift i.e.d.'s that tore through
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their body and either killed them or caused the amputation of their arms or legs and the disfigurement of their face? we see them now, call them wounded warriors. we call them heroes. and certainly those that followed in afghanistan. but this 10th year reminds us, had we made the progress that we should, the gentlelady spoke of the moneys, $800 billion that could directly contribute to the nation's deficit and as well the amount of money that was supposed to be used for restoration and because there was no infrastructure in iraq, we made our army personnel be the little government. we made soldiers be the ones that had to interact with the village leaders and the chiefs and carry moneys to them. nothing accounted for. just good intentions. following orders. but we cannot account for those dollars. we don't know if they made a
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difference. we don't know if they helped bring iraqis home. we don't know if they helped build schools or hospitals. so i think it's important to note when we make decisions regarding war we need to think about soldiers holding their families and loving their families. we need to think about the better way to go. and we need to ask those whose war we fight. saddam hussein is gone. the people whose war we fight, the conflict between the shiites and sunnis, we need to understand our history as to whether or not a war that would see the laws of all of these brilliant -- lives of all these brilliant young people, whether or not we could bring some measure of peace, some comfort, some stability. and i venture to say today that we have not. and i say this to the head of , mr. maliki, er
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for his participation in the ongoing conflict in iraq because that is the case. there is no coming together, the shiites and sunnis. there is a cluster of a government that hides mountain walls, that does not go out and to bring peace to the people. i give you one example, mr. speaker, that troubles me over and over again. it is the iranians who left iran. we know the conflicted issues d alliances were all, if you will, misunderstood, old alliances, friends and enemies. we understand that. but this is supposed to be peaceful nation now. nd the iranians who fled the despotic iran and have become
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in essence refugees of iran. they were called rebels. they've now been vindicated and they are not called that any more. let me tell you what the president of iraq allows. they allow in the camp that is now camp liberty bombs to go in from the iraqi soldiers. they allow no medical care to come into that particular camp. just yesterday the friends of iran, american iranians were here, and they had 10 people or more, their faces who had died in that camp because the government of iraq, the government that we shed blood for, that we asked to be a peaceful nation is in essence attacking people on their soil who are unarmed, who are not interested in war, who fled because they had been persecuted and they don't allow them to get access to cars,
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access to hospitals. and so people die from sicknesses because they could not get care. when we go into battle and send our troops into battle, shouldn't we ask the question of what is the ultimate result? we understand that democracy in its structure that is here in the united states cannot only be the structure that fits every community, every nation, every faith. but what i would say to you is we bring one of those c-130's, big c-130's that many of us rode on to go into iraq, and i spent many hours. nothing compared to those that served. i'm grateful that i had the opportunity to go and serve and see those individuals who served and to sit down with those from texas and to break bread with them. when we land one of those c-130's, why don't we know and
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shouldn't we know what our purpose, our goal, what is our ultimate direction that we would like to see? not the dominance of the united states over this nation that we help but to be able to know that they, too, stand for democracy and peace. i want to thank the gentlelady from california for allowing me to share this time with her and to say it's important to remind us of the 10th anniversary. one, to say thank you for when we land these c-130's and these men and these women come out ready for battle, they are wearing our uniform and our flag. but at the same time we must ask the question, for what, for what results, for what long-range results, for what peace for we owe that to them? i ask that we consider those in camp liberty and we find relief for them. i'm happy to yield back to the
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gentlelady and thank her very much. ms. lee: let me thank the gentlelady from texas for that very profound statement and presentation and just let me say to you that as a daughter of a 25-year veteran of the armed forces, i am deeply thankful for your bringing forth the faces of our armed forces, and also talking about the obstacles now that they're facing upon their return. i'm especially concerned with the riots spread and often undiagnosed instances of ptsd and the alarming suicide rates among our soldiers. the claims, the veterans administration losing records, denying claims that are clearly service related. i want to acknowledge congresswoman jackie speier and her work in our area and throughout the country to try to address the backlog of claims of our veterans who don't deserve to be treated this way. since the invasion of iraq 10
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years ago, over 2,000 current and former service members have committed suicide. the lessons from this tragedy cannot be any clearer. it's a lot easier to get into war than to get out of one. it's my hope, mr. speaker, that this reckless and shortsighted decision will mark a turpg point in american history -- turning point in american history and that we will be more careful about war and use all of the tools of american power, as congresswoman woolsey so eloquently talked to us about and introduced over and over again smart security, that hould be used in resolving disputes, including diplomacy. let me ask you, mr. speaker, how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has 21 minutes remaining. ms. lee: i'd like to know if the gentlelady from texas has
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anything else to say. otherwise we will close. let me just use a bit more time and say there's no military solution in afghanistan either. so we must absorb that fact and learn again what we learned in iraq. and we need to bring the war in afghanistan to an accelerated end. we need to stop throwing good money after bad and poorly conceived and poorly managed reconstruction efforts and bring our troops home now. and we need to repeal the 2001 authorization for the use of military force, which congresswoman waters mentioned which i voted against right after the horrific events of 9/11. this overly broad blank check has underwritten the past decade of perpetual war. i have a resolution, h.r. 198, it's the repeal of the authorization for the use of military force. this will remove one of the
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underlying legal justifications for targeted drone killings that has been invoked over and over again -- this time targeted killings -- to justify a wide range of activities, including warrantless surveillance and wiretapping activities and, yes, a blank check for war anywhere anytime for any length of time. i hope those who are listening and who care about this go back and read that resolution of 9/14. what it said is the president -- i'm paraphrasing -- the president is authorized to use force against any nation, organization, individual deemed connected to terrorism and the 9/11 attacks. now, this was in 2001. 2001. no end game, no timetable, a blank check, perpetual war until this is repeated --
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repealed -- excuse me. so congress really needs to reassert its constitutional authority in the matters of war. our founding fathers were very deliberate in placing war making powers in this body. in a democracy, such as ours, we have this system of checks and balances. on 9/14, we did not have a full debate. from what i remember, it may have been an hour, may have been two hours, but we did not fully debate that blank check and what that meant by authorizing then-president bush, now president obama, and any future president to use force in perpetuity. we could no long be a vow gait our constitutional duties allowing any president to engage in hostilities without debate, without oversight and without accountability. i want to commend senator durbin for conducting hearings this week looking at the constitutionality and the
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rationale for targeted killings using drones. this was a very important hearing. i was able to sit through some of that hearing and was very revealing. actually, a young man from yemen who received a state department scholarship, went to school here, had gone back to yemen and his village devastated by drones. so you can see what's happening now. more and more anger and hostilities, unfortunately, toward the united states unless we get this policy straight about the lethal use of drones and have congressional oversight and debate and really exercise our constitutional responsibility to really declare war if that's what we're going to do. so as we we do need rules, we need oversight, we need accountability and we need to develop an international legal framework on drones. asymmetrycal nd
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warfare and the world we live in. none of us have our head in the sand, excuse me, about that. we just need to make sure that congress has a role in debating exactly how we're going to, if we're going to and when the appropriate use of force is necessary. for me personally, i believe in smart security and i know that that will lead to a world that our children deserve and worthy of our children's future. so let's put this decade of perpetual warfare behind us. we should bring our troops home, we should invest in our veterans and our children, create jobs here at home and really begin to invest in our future, for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. i want to just remind you, and i have this chart here, excuse me, to show you just in terms of the fiscal implications of what these policies have brought.
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when you look at the deficit with the war and the economic policies of the bush era, the tax cuts, we're looking at this. -- this line right here. had these unfortunate policies not occurred, our deficit would be down here. this is very clear, this was put forth by the congressional budget office in february, these are their estimates, and it's very clear i hope to everyone that the failed economic policies of the bush administration, the wars in iraq are the major contributing factors to the economic crisis that we find ourselves in. and so aside from the human toll that this 10-year war has taken and the war in afghanistan has taken, we have a real crisis now, an economic crisis in this country that we need to come to grips with. our senior citizens did not cause this crisis, our children
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did not cause this crisis. the poor, our middle class individuals and families did not cause this crisis. and we cannot forget what has taken place over the last 10 ars of this unbelievably terribly sad time in our history where we lost so many lives and we lost so much time in terms of rebuilding our country for the future of our children. thank you and now i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. hartzler, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. ms. hartzler: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, when i was 10 years old, i got my first job. and it would require skill and
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perseverance and patience and it would have a real potential economic impact on our family hog farm. my dad hired me and he paid me 15 cents a unit. what was my job? it was shooting spar are sparrows around our -- sparrows around our farm. there was a disease going around rural america at that time and sparrows were taking from farm to farm i had a real practical purpose but as i look back on it, i used to tag around with my dad all the time and i wonder if he wanted to give me something to do in addition to it. but i had a lot of fun that summer going around the grain bins and the sheds on our farm and trying to catch that bird unawares and i think over the entire summer i may have earned around 45 cents. so it wasn't a big money maker. but i sure had a lot of fun and i learned some important things. i learned that using firearms can be a fun hobby and hunting can be fun and also that using firearms can have a real practical purpose. and over the years i've shot a lot of different kinds of
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firearms now, different sizes, but i really appreciate what our founding fathers did when they established our second amendment and gave us that as our basic right. you know, this afternoon my colleagues and i want to highlight not only why the second amendment is important to us and to the people in our districts, but how it is also important to this country. we want to dispel the myth that decisions about how to address violence are based on facts and not emotions. as a life-long gun owner as well as a former public school teacher, i appreciate the thoughtful discussion that our country's been having after the tragic school shooting in newtown, connecticut. my heart has gone out to those families as i know everyone in america's heart has and our prayers as well. we want to understand and i understand the desire to stop the violence. i share that goal but believe
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many of the proposals being put forth miss the mark. so let's look at some of the proposals and compare them to the facts. one proposal that is being talked about and has been talked about is to ban what's called assault rifles. well, the fact is that law breakers ignore the laws. banning firearms would only take guns away from our law-abiding citizens and ensure that law breakers have guns. i was watching tv a couple of weeks ago and i saw the sponsor of the senate bill to ban these assault rifles and she was giving a rationale why she thought it was important and she was saying, well, gangs in california have assault rifles and we've got to get these off the streets and out of the hands of our gang members. so we need to pass this bill. and i just kind of scratched my head and i thought, do you really believe that gang members are going to listen and pay attention to a law that washington, d.c., passes? they break laws every day.
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i really can't see them getting together and having an organizational meetinging and saying, well, let's -- meeting and saying, well, let's have the legislative report and have the gang members say, well, they passed a new law in d.c. so i guess we can't use assault rifles anymore. we've got to look at the facts about whether passing this law would really address violence. in this case it certainly wouldn't. as far as that legislation, also the word assault is an adjective. it is not a gun. what gun control advocates call an assault rifle is actually a regular rifle with only a few cosmetic differences on the outside such as a pistol grip, a hand guard and removable magazine. it is misleading to label firearms with negative words in order to advance a gun control agenda. the fact is that more deaths have been inflicted using fists and knives and baseball bats than with a gun.
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in fact, 1 1/2 times as many homicides are committed with blunt objects such as a baseball bat. over two times as many homicides with fists and five times as many with knives. so, why aren't proponents of bans on firearms calling baseball bats assault baseball bats or assault knives? well, the reason is because the american people know that objects are only tools of people who wish to do others harm. they are not the cause. now, it's a slogan, it's a bumper sticker, but it is true. guns don't kill people. people do. so that's one proposal that i think misses the mark. another proposal is to what's called create universal background checks. vast the fact is that the majority of gun sales have background checks with the sale because all firearm sales through dealers must complete the instant background check. the only transactions that do
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not require the background checks are sales between individuals -- individual gun owners and they are not the problem. requiring law-abiding citizens to have to go to a dealer and get a background check on their neighbor in order to sell him a gun would do little to stop mass killings. imposing the new law would not have stopped the sandy hook killer. he stole the guns he used to carry out his evil scheme. same with the aurora, colorado, shooter in the movie theater. he actually had passed a background check. so passing a new law like this does not really address the issue. so, what -- it's time for all of us to address the real issue of how to protect our children and schools rather than to use a tragedy to impose more government control on law-abiding citizens or infringe on our second amendment rights. so, several of my colleagues are going to join me today to share their insights into why
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the second amendment matters to them and their constituents and to discuss how to address the real issues of violence in our country. so, i would like to start off with my fellow colleague from the great state of missouri. we have blaine luetkemeyer. gentlemen, what would you like to share about our second amendment rights? mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, congresswoman hartzler. it's always good to work with another fellow from missouri, the show-me state, where we can give some folks insight into what's going on. mr. speaker, when i was growing up in rural missouri, firearms were a regular part of my life. beyond learning how to safely handle firearms while hunting and shooting i learned also to respect them. like so many parents i made sure those same lessons were instilled in my own children. it's because of the efforts of parentses or adults who can have -- parents or adults who have -- who can have a positive
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impact on a child is why firearms have been so well maintained in rural america. it is very upsetting when lawmakers, many of whom know nothing about firearms, attempt on our limitations second amendment right to keep and bear arms. it's a constitutional right that sets america far apart from nations around the world. our founders got this right. they knew ensuring the right of citizens to keep and bear arms would always be vital to ensuring personal freedoms. i spent my time as an lectsed official first in the missouri state house of representative and now in congress working to protect the second amendment. however, not only is it important to protect the right to own the gun, it's also important to protect the privacy of the information that you have the information about the ownership of the gun and the concealed carry permits and things like that. i give you an example. in my state just recently, in fact, we've barely finished
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working on this, it's come to our attention that the department of revenue, in working in conjunction with the social scurets administration's inspector general, were -- social security's inspector general, were looking to get control of the permit list to compare it for mental health disability fraud in our state. and while we were satisfied in going through all the different informational checks and crosschecks with regard to the federal side of this, that they did everything legally they were supposed to do, as well as the information being protected and not compromised, it still pointed out some of the loose and sloppiness that went on with regards to the way that the state folks handle our information. and to me that is something that has to be constantly watchful -- that we have to be constantly watchful for. some people said the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and with regard to second amendment rights, it's certainly something that is very true.
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with that i yield back the balance of my time. mrs. hartzler: thank you. i think well said there. our rule heritage is -- our rural heritage is based on our second amendment rights and well said. and certainly, being from missouri, i appreciate your work and we've worked together on this. this is a very real concern with i call the department of revenue debacle and certainly appreciate state senator kirk shaffer and others there in missouri who have been on the forefront of getting to the bottom of this and how our concealed carry list was released to federal authorities without all of the permissions and all of the safeguards in place. and that is very, very disturbing. so thank you for your work on that. and for your comments. i would now like to yield to a new member here who has just hit the ground running and has brought so much to our whole delegation, appreciate chris collins from new york and i'd be happy to yield time to you. mr. collins: thank you. i want to thank both the gentlewoman and the gentleman
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from missouri for your comments. i come to the house floor this afternoon to stand in support of the second amendment. i also proudly stand here in support of all the law-abiding gun owners in new york's 27th congressional district and all across our country. as a father and a grandfather, the recent violent tragedies in our country have left my heart heavy. but as a gun owner with a carry permit, i proudly carry my dad's gun from world war ii. and as a member of congress representing thousands of law-abiding gun owners, i join my colleague tostd in sing we refuse to -- colleagues today in sing we refuse to allow these tragedy -- in sing we refuse to allow these tragedies to be used for political gain. law-abiding citizens should not fall victim to laws and regulations which have no impact on reducing crime. lets us not kid ourselves. what was recently proposed in the senate and what has recently become law in my home
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state of new york would have done nothing to prevent the newtown or the christmas time shootings of firefighters in webster, a community just outside my district. i strongly support the second amendment and the right of an individual to protect themselves and their family. the actions of depraved killers should not punish law-abiding gun owners. and the actions of this congress should not pick away at the rights guaranteed by our constitution. . thank you and i yield back my time. >> thank you, and well said. we want to get at the heart -- mrs. hartzler: we want to get at the heart of what causes violence. i'm glad to see my colleague from south dakota here. she is quite a champion of gun rights and we're looking forward to hearing your comments, lady,
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bout the second amendment. >> i thank the gentlelady. the constitution is important to me to people in south dakota and to my family. the second amendment is very dear to our heritage. that's why i want to come to the floor today. i want to talk about how the constitution guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms. that's why i strongly support the second amendment this right isn't abstract to me it's part of my family's heritage. mrs. noem: i'm a gun owner, member of the congressional sportsman's caucus, i'll continue to fight an defend this right for the people of my district. it is there to support our national right of self-defense, it is there for resistance of oppression.
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it was even given to act in concert in defense. what it means to mothers an fathers what it means to us growing up in a country where people sacrificed blood and died . i've always had an enormous respect for hunting. in south dakota, hunting is a very important part of it. i grew up hunting and taking hunting trips, sometimes for weeks on end, one or two-week trips with my dad and my brothers. it was a good family quality time. we had a lot of conversations while we were enjoying the outdoors. the first person who taught me how to hunt and carry a gun correctly was my grandmother. me and her and her black lab b.j. would go out and spend hours tooth. she not only taught me the proper way to handal firearm and enjoy wildlife but also life
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lessons i don't think i would have gotten if i hadn't spent that much time with her in the outdoors enjoying that heritage. this belief in the second amendment is critically important to south dakotans. i certainly appreciate the fact that i have the opportunity to enjoy it. now i have a chance with my own kids and with my husband brian. open to -- opening day of pheasant season is always big in south dakota. it's a family reunion but many friends show up as well. it starts with a big breakfast, we gathering together for good entertainment and conversation .ntil it's time to go out it's a tradition we don't want to lose. i want to give you a few facts about south dakota. with over 700,000 acres of public hunting land, south dakota is home to the nation's best pheasant hunting and it's the pheasant hunting capital of the world. last year, pheasant hunters were
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able to put 1.55 million roosters in their game bags. in 2011 alone, the pheasant hunting season had an economic impact of $225 million to our state, it's our number one industry is tourism, a big part of that happens in hunting season. a majority of that money spent comes from out of state visitors. maintaining a healthy habitat for wildlife is one of the great things i support about south dakota, it's why i'm proud to call it home. during the debates that occurred here in washington, d.c. recently, i received many, many thousands of letters from south dakotans. i want to read a couple of exerts from these those if i have a chance. the first from kevin in aberdeen. he write, i urge you to oppose any and all legislation that will penalize gun owners. instead focus on improvements for the mental health system and
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enhancing school security while respecting our second degree -- second amendment rights. mike, also from aberdeen, said this is clearly the wrong answer. taking away a right that's been proven to save lives time and again is the wrong answer against obvious mental issues and security lapses. the last one i want to touch on is from greg he says, i agree work needs to be done to keep weapons out of the hands of mentally ill individuals. he said i regularly use a rifle that would be banned under some legislation in controlling coyotes and rabbits on my farm. i've also used the rifle for controlling prairie dog operations and other landowner property in addition to hunting on public land. if many in thed my of the -- middle of the country, in western south dakota, they wouldn't be able to be in business anymore if they didn't have the opportunity to control predators that could wipe out their entire livestock herd and the second amendment guarantees them the right to be able to do
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this. this is just a small glimpse of the traditions we have in south dakota, the heritage gun ownership offers us. i thank the gentlelady for giving me the opportunity to talk about all that. the second amendment is critically important. it needs to be defended and i was proud to do that with you here today. with that, i yield back. mrs. hartzler: thank you, lady. it was important that those voices from south dakota be heard and how it is a part of the heritage of so many in this country and how it has practical and real benefits to citizens. we need to focus on solutions that are based on facts and not emotions and so thank you, one thing that the lady talked about is it is a constitutional right and i wanted to just reiterate that the u.s. supreme court has affirmed that gun ownership is an individual right and d.c. -- district of columbia vs. us -- vs. heller, they said the d.c. gun ban infringes on the
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second amendment rights of d.c. citizens and clarified the second amendment guaranteed a fundamental individual right to have a firearm in the home. . this isn't something that was just talked about and established years ago when our country was founded, it has been upheld recently. we're thankful for that and want to continue to protect that right. we have a gentleman from texas who i'm sure knows all about rights and wants to share a little bit about texas' views on why it's important to have our second amendment rights. this is blake farenthold, i yield to you. mr. farenthold: thank you. as i was listening to to the gentlelady from south dakota, mrs. noem, her torys about growing up -- stories about growing up around firearms and the time she spent with her grandmother learning marksmanship and gun safety and life in the outdoors really struck home with me. i remember growing up with my grandfather, driving around the nch, learning to shoot a .22
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and moving up and learning how to shoot a shotgun, learning how to do so safely and you know new york texas, gun control is hitting what you aim at. that's part of growing up with the understanding of firearm safety and marksmanship. it's part of many americans' lives just like it was a part of my life. and i do -- i got a lot of letters as the debate about gun control was going through the senate as well, urging me to continue to stand up for the second amendment rights that our founding fathers realize was so important, the right to bear arms this eright that those in the revolutionary war fought for. and one of the letters came just this week from a student in a boy scout -- from a student and a boy scout named caleb he said dear representative farenthold, i want to thank you for your beliefs on gun control in our
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state. i believe we all have the right to bear arms and protect ourselves if we are in harm. and that really kind of sums up the feeling of a lot of folks in texas and a lot of the farmers and ranchers that i represent. representative noem was talking about spending time shooting with her children. one of the things i look back on in raising my daughters, they are now in college you look back and think, what should i have done? i should have spent more time outside with them, i should have spent more time passing on some of the things that i learned. but there's still an opportunity, morgan mitigating circumstance 24-year-old daughter came to me a couple of weekends ago when i was back home in corpus chris dee tee and said, dad, can we take a concealed carry class together this sum her so that's on the agenda for august when i'm back in texas. it's passing on the tradition of the safe and responsible use of
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firearms in my family. and i'm looking forward to spending time with her in that concealed carry class and i hope it instills in her the same passion that i have for the sport of shooting. if this plays out well, we'll spend time on the skeet range, spend some time out hunting, it's something i'm really looking forward to. it's an important part of america, it's an important part of folks' family lives. second amendment has to be protected and the traditions of safe firearms use in this country needs to continue for a myriad of reasons, more reasons than i can list. but i see you've got quite a you other people here who want to talk about their experiences with the second amendment and their beliefs, so i'm not going to yield up -- to eat up all the time and i yield back. mrs. hartzler: thank you, blake. i look forward to hearg how it
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gos with your daughter in august yusm made an important point about the role of protection. it's a practical and vital role in protection. estimates range from anywhere from 83,000 times a year up to perhaps a million times a year citizens of the country use firearms in order to protect themselves. in missouri, let me share with you just a couple of examples in 2008, there was a woman in cape girardeau who endured a horrific crime. someone broke into her arment apartment through a window and she was raped. two days later, she came home and that person was there again. she had the window repaired but they were there this time she was reprepare. she had borrowed a friend's shotgun and she protected herself, and the outcome was totally different and a person is in jail now. and there's another example in kansas city, there was a man who had a restraining order against someone who was trying to do him
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harm he entered his home and once again he was attacked by this person with a knife. but thanks to having a gun in the home, he was able to stop him and that person is behind bars as well. we could go on with many, many examples. americans every day use their second amendment rights to protect and defend their families and themselves and this is so important that we keep that ability to do that. that's why our founding fathers established this right. and now i'd like to turn to my friend from michigan, tim walberg, to share your thoughts on the second amendment. thank you for being here. mr. walberg: i thank the gentlelady, my friend from missouri, for holding this opportunity for us to speak on the second amendment. i have often said at town hall meetings that we're talking about the second amendment to the u.s. constitution, the second amendment in the bill of likes, that namely speaks to the issue that was declared so
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strongly in the declaration of independence, that document, one of two documents that could be considered the greatest manmade document ever penned, the declaration of independence and the constitution. the bill of rights understood what the declaration said, that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable right, namely the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. i think the framers and founders understood the first amendment, the right to free speech, the freedom of religion but also that understanding that the right to life involved making sure that i can defend myself, protect myself, care for myself, feed myself. with the use of a weapon in the fields in hunting. but not simply that. mr. speaker, i would say it was there to make sure that as a
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citizen a free citizen of the united states was able to care for himself or herself, his family or her family, in any shape or form. so i see the first amendment as important but i see equally important that a second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. as my friend says, keep is defined as, it's mine, it's not yours, you're not going to take it from me. very simple. very simple. and i think we need to understand that there are laws that are being thought of, well intentioned even, and yet laws that really aren't based in reality. of what takes place around civilization when it understands we need to make sure we don't step on other people's rights and their freedoms an their opportunities, yet there is a
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place where we must be prepared to defend ourselveses so that those rights can be carried on. not only for ourselves but for those that count on us. who care. benjamin franklin in a famous quote said it this way, he said, they that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty. well said. and i think there are people with well-meaning intentions right now are not thinking of the fact that liberty comes with a cost. and it comes with a responsibility and accountability to continue on, to make sure that that liberty continues not only for me but for you and everyone else. and that liberty is protected from those who would take away our freedoms, our rights, even our lives. and while i like the hunt, and i love to trap shoot and love to shoot skeet and love to
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short sporting clay and i love the target practice, in my farm we have a target range, and my wife uses it as well. in fact, she uses it better than i do with a pistol. yet we also understand that with fun and enjoyment that can come from being trained, understanding the concerns that are there, as any tool, as my dad taught me not only how to shoot a gun and the dangers, inherent dangers that were there, that also demanded my responsibility and accountability, he also taught me how to use a radio saw and said it would work very well in doing the things it was meant for but you have to be careful with it. and so, yes, we who believe in the second amendment believe that there ought to be training and people ought to care for how they use their weapons. but we believe they ought to be freely allowed for us to use as they were intended for all good purposes. i grew up on the south side of chicago. leroy brown and his junk yard
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dog were my neighbors. i love that area which are grew up. but i also know that there are dangers. and i also know that protection is required and the protection to fit the need and the concern is what must be there. so, i would say to my friend and colleague, as well as the speaker and to those that might listen to these words that the second amendment is not the problem. and the law-abiding citizen who carries out the responsibilities of the second amendment is not the problem and most of us fit in that category. and nothing that the bill that was put forth in the senate or any other thoughts would take care of those criminals, it would not have changed the boston bombers in their ability to get and to use for criminal terrorist purposes any change or impingement on the second amendment. they would have still done their atrocities. they would have still got their weapons. and the only law -- the only
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impact of the negative would have been on law-abiding citizens' ability to keep, to bear arms, to prevent -- protect themselves and to carry out the constitutional right. so i thank the gentlelady from missouri for allowing us to speak on this issue, hopefully that some would hear the common sense of it all and not just hear what some would say that if we appreciate weapons, we are war mongers or we are living in danger and producing danger in other people's lives. but the fact is just the opposite. we are there to assure safety, assure liberty and to make sure that people are protected against criminals who would abuse us, regardless of what the law or the constitution says. i will defend that and i thank my colleagues for standing for this reality and truth of the second amendment. mrs. hartzler: thank you, mr. walberg. well said. i like how you point out that the right to life is tied to
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the second amendment, to be able to defend ourselves and protect that life. that is so, so true. and that safety, it's not a safety issue. in fact, violent crime has dropped by 72% since 1993 in this country. but actually there's been an increase of 47% in u.s. households that have guns. we now have 47% of us that own a gun and we have this, you know, crime has gone down. so excellent point there. i'd like to yield to my friend from louisiana, representative steve scalise, and he's a champion of our second amendments and thank you for coming and i yield to you. mr. scalise: thank you. i want to thank my colleague, mrs. hartzler from missouri, for hosting this leadership hour to talk about our second amendment rights and for yielding time as well. i'm very proud to rise in strong support of our second amendment rights. and also in opposition to many of these bills that have been
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floating around congress to take away those rights that are so precious to all americans. those rights that were so important that the second amendment to the constitution, part of our bill of rights, the first set of amendments to our constitution enshrined this right to the american people to bear arms. this wasn't a right that they just gave to the militia, to the military, to our local law enforcement, this was a right that was granted to all americans. because it was so precious and important. and when you look at some of the bills that are floating around here these last few weeks and we were all shocked and saddened by the murders at sandy hook, but i think what's also disappointing is when you have these tragedies, unfortunately there are people, washington politicians, that try to take advantage of those tragedies to then come behind and try to impose their own agenda in the name of somebody
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else. when you look at a lot of these bills that have been filed, they had absolutely nothing to do with those murders or any of these other tragedies that we've seen. you look at sandy hook, he stole the gun, the guns from his mother, he murdered his own mother. i think they counted over 40 different laws that were broken by the sandy hook murderer, 40 different laws. if somebody's going to tell that you one more law that makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to get a gun would have then stopped him from doing that when in fact he didn't break the laws that they're proposing. i think people see through that. people realize that these bills are unfortunately the same bad ideas that have been floating around for decades by people who just want to take away our second amendment rights. they just don't share those same beliefs that our founding fathers had. when they felt that it was so important that all american citizens have these protections. i'm proud to come from louisiana, we call ourselves
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the sportsman's paradise. and when you talk about the second amendment, we're not just talking about hunting. so people want to say, you know, the second amendment is really just about hunting. it's not about hunting. it's about a lot more than hunting. it's about the ability for people to protect themselves. you know, i was in new orleans after hurricane katrina. during those days there were some very dark days. we had a few weeks, not just hours or days, we had a few weeks where you couldn't pick up the phone and call 911. there was no 911 system. in many cases there was no power for weeks. you couldn't get law enforcement to come, if there was somebody trying to come and loot your house or worse. and so the citizen at home in their house with their gun was the only protection that people had for not just days but for weeks after hurricane katrina. you know, one of the more frightening things that happened after katrina, there were many frightening things
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that happened during katrina, but after katrina local law enforcement gave an order to have the police actually go door to door in the city of new orleans and confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens. it -- it actually happened. it's been well documented to the point where when i was in the state legislature at the timex i filed legislation to prevent that from ever being able to happen again. and in fact the n.r.a. who so decried by all of these gun control advocates, the n.r.a. actually stood up and said it's wrong for government to try to go door to door and take your guns from you. and people said, oh, that could never happen in america. and yet it happened. it happened in an american city, in new orleans, after katrina, there's actual video footage of a woman, mrs. connie, she was in her house in uptown new orleans and the police actually came to her house, to take her gun and she didn't want to give up her gun. and they tackled her. they broke her collar bone. i actually brought her to testify for my bill. i'm proud to say my bill passed
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back then. and no longer can anybody in louisiana take away your guns, even during a natural disaster, and unfortunately because -- and fortunately because of the n.r.a.'s leadership, they made this a national law. it's now a national law. but that actually happened. and so this second amendment right is incredibly sacred and it's unfortunate that some try to take advantage of disasters to go and try to chip those rights away. but that's why we're here today. that's why i'm proud of my colleague from missouri and so many others who are here to stand up for that right that we all hold dear. happy to yield back the balance of my time. mrs. hartzler: thank you very much, steve. it was very helpful i think to be reminded of that firsthand account of what can happen and what did happen in louisiana. when the government came to take the guns away from the citizens there and we don't ever want to see that happen again. because like you said, it's imperative for personal protection. besides being a personal right. so thank you for sharing that. appreciate it. well, we have my friend and
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colleague from indiana who's come to join us here, mr. stutzman. you brought a couple of guest here's with you today to be a part of our special order? mr. stutzman: i did. mrs. hartzler: very good. i yield to you. i want to hear what you have to share. mr. stutzman: i thank the lady from missouri for yielding. i brought my two sons, payton and preston along today. father and son outing here. payton asked if he could come along to hear us talk about the second amendment and we of course were farmers back in indiana and i grew up with a b.b. gun and payton now has his little b.b. gun and a .410, .22 and preston has a little b.b. gun. so we enjoy the sport out on the farm. but i want to just thank you for bringing this issue to the floor today. because it's such an important issue for our country. and obviously a lot of things have happened over the past
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several years that brings this issue to us appropriately. and i believe that we do need to have a discussion not only about our second amendment rights but about gun safety and how each of us as americans is responsible, that anyone who owns a gun. and of course my wife, christie , and i are grieving, our family is grieving for those who lost loved ones in newtown and of course in arizona and colorado and virginia and so many other places we've had some cases in fort wayne of just irresponsibility. but also intended murder. but of course as we saw what happened in boston, bad people can take any device and hurt people with those devices and it's always sad to see. but one of the things that i
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know from constituents back home is that they don't expect a knee-jerk reaction from washington. and when it comes to legislation. and i would like to just quote a couple of quotes from our founding fathers that i think are so important and quotes about our second amendment rights. george washington said, a free people ought to be armed. thomas jefferson says that the strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government. he also says, the beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it. and i think that that is why his this is such -- it motivates people to contact their members of congress, to let them know how they feel. and as you watch the events
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nfold, madam speaker, in the senate we are a democracy that is represented by people that we send to washington and as we saw the votes unfold, i think that each one of those members in the senate was representing the people that they were elected by. and of course the president was very critical of the senate, after they were not able to pass a bill that he had wanted. and -- but you know, when he's criticizing them he's criticizing each one of those particular members but also the people that sent them to the united states senate. and to watch each different vote take place i think tells us a lot, that americans across the country are not about just knee-jerk reactions but about responsibility when it comes to their ership, also shows
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passion about protecting the second amendment and many of these members in the senate did not want to vote for tighter gun control laws because they were representing the people from their particular state. d so i believe that last week, you know, the american people spoke. it wasn't just the senate. it was the american people through their representatives spoke that they don't want stricter gun legislation. this country, we've already tried, senator feinstein's so-called assault weapons ban in the 1990's and it failed to reduce murder rates then and it would i believe fail to reduce murder rates now. the american people understand that and i believe that the united states senate understands that as well. they've seen this before. nd so while we see -- while we
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saw the senate work through -- while we watched them work through the gun legislation, there was one particular amendment that i thought was very intriguing and that was the amendment that senator cornyn from texas offered and that was an amendment that i have a bill filed here in the house, h.r. 578, it's called the respecting states' rights and concealed carry reciprocity act of 2013 which basically allows law-abiding citizens, those who have concealed weapon permits, to carries a cross state lines to those states that do have concealed carry permits. senator cornyn offered an amendment to the underlying bill in the senate and it almost passed, it was within three votes of passing, which i thought was very interesting that while the president was trying to enact stricter gun
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legislation, a bill that would actually let us as americans travel across the country to -- it almost passed in the senate. i think that sends a strong message to all of us as americans that the senate does understand and respect the importance of the second amendment but also is interested in letting those folks who have -- who are abide big the law to also carry throughout the country. so the bill that i authored understands that instead of pursuing ineffective gun controls, we really do need to strengthen the protections for law-abiding citizens who exercise their right to self-defense every day. one other comment is that my bill would simply make sure that law-abiding gun owners who legally carry a concealed weapon
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in their home state may d so in other states, and illinois does not have a permit they would not be allowed to carry there but just about every other state does system of i think that americans have seen over the past couple of weeks that both sides of the aisle see that gun -- see that sweeping gun control legislation is misguided and it is an attack on law-abiding gun owners and it is designed to advance another agenda instead of really saving lives. and i believe that what we really should be focused on is the people behind the weapons, the people that plant the bombs, the people that are taking these particular tools and hurting other people, whether it's with a ball bat or a crowbar or any other sort of device that people could pick up with their hands and hurt others, we really need to focus on the mental challenges that these people have. there has to be, there is
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information that we know about these particular people and i believe that that's what we need to focus on and also us as americans need to make sure we teach our children safety and if you don't, you know, if someone decided to purchase a gun, they have a responsibility to understand how that particular weapon operates and the safety measures that go along with it just like i learned in my hunter safety course when i was 12 years old and also by my father who threatened me many times if any more windows were shot out i was going to be paying for them. so that -- it's -- there are so many different, exciting, joyful opportunities that families can do together as a family with firearms but also there is a great responsibility that comes along with that and also as the quotes from our founding fathers
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that i read before show that there is an even greater right behind that and principal behind that that we do have a responsibility not only to protect ourselves but to protect other citizens we live with. so thank you for bringing this issue to the floor and thank you to all of those who have spoken as well because i believe that as we continue this discussion that it be thoughtful that it be careful, and that we in scronk a responsibility to let people know that we do understand that this issue is an important matter but as we've seen the votes from the senate that people want to know gun safety is the most important issue we're dealing with. thank you and i yield back. >> absolutely. very well said. i appreciate your comments, i'm so glad you brought your boys along. i was saying i got my start on the farm with my b.b. gun as well. glad to hear you're well on your
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way there of having a lot of years of fun hunting, doing it safely with the thanks to your father teaching you there. my friend from indiana brought up -- mrs. hartzler: my friend from indiana brought up some great points. it is important as a country that we retain the rights as citizens that we retain the right to protect ourselves not just from other citizen bus from the government even. well said, there. as far as the senate vote, i think he brought up an excellent point as well that the american people did speak. i think overwhelmingly the american people understand that taking away guns or putting new restriction on law-abiding citizens is not going to address the problems of violence in our ciety and would have not prevented the tragedy that occurred in connecticut or any of the other shootings that we have experienced. so we need to, as i said earlier, focus on the facts and
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not on emotions. and i want to just share with you some of the comments from people in my district because you know, i think lots of times people in the country have the pulse of really what is commonsense and what is wise policy for our country more so than in the heat of the moment, sometimes things that have gone on here at the capitol. this is an example from samantha of what happened in our district recently in randolph county. i think she has a very interesting perspective on this. she said, i'm a citizen of randolph county and on easter sunday, two men went on a crime spree in our area and shot two close friends of mine, pistol whipped an elderly lady and killed someone. the suspects were on the run from the police for hours, including overnight. residents didn't sleep well not knowing what was going on. houses were on lockdown, it was a horrible feeling knowing these
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men got away from police officers for several hours, not knowing where they would go next. as a mother, i was terrified for mir family. knowing we were protected in case these perpetrators came in our neighborhood was the only thing that made that night even bearable. please vote to keep our second amendment rights. it is our right to protect ourselves from these criminals who will always be able to get guns, no matter what they do such as drugs, because drugs are illegal as well. if they want them, they will get them. let normal, law-abiding citizens keep their guns to protect themselves. we should not be giving them, -- having them taken away because there are people who are irresponsible for them. those people will get guns no matter what but law-abiding citizens need to protect our families. it is our right, just as freedom of speech is, and should not be taken away. well said, samantha. i think there's a perfect example of what happens
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potentially when a crime is occurring and how important it is for families to be able to defend themselves in that event. here's a comment from carol, from lou recity. she said in an email to me, she said, by definition, criminals don't care about laws. they will acquire guns and whatever weapon they want to use for their nefarious activity regardless of what the law is. the only thing this unconstitutional gun grab will do is put innocent, law-abiding citizens in harm's way by preventing them protecting themselves, their property, and their families. if stringent gun control which strips second amendment ithes from the people were the answer to alleviating violence, listen to this, then the city of chicago would be a model of safety. instead, chicago, which has some of the most strict gun control laws in the nation led the country in number of deaths relating to firearms at 532. the people could not protect
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themselves against the criminal activity around them and many paid for it with their lives. share d to share that -- some statistics from the world health organization. it lists, and you probably can't see it, but two pages worth of countries here that have a higher percentage of murders per 100,000 citizens than we do. you have countries everywhere from the bahamas, puerto rico, panama, brazil, costa rica, russia, british vir ion -- virgin islands, uruguay and on and on. two pages of countries with high murder rates and yet here's the united states, below all of them. you know what all these other countries have in common? all of their countries have banned guns 100% from their citizens. so this validates what carol from lawrie city said to me in
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her i mail, when you take guns away from individuals, crime rates actually go up because the criminals will have the guns and the law-abiding citizens won't be able to protect themselves. i thought that was a really good point there that she made. here's a comment, an email from vicki from clinton, missouri. she said, i would like you to know i do not support more regulations on any guns, accessories or ammunitions. these items are only tools some people choose to use as weapons against others. i feel the second amendment gives me the freedom to own and operate any firearm that i choose. i am a hunter. and if needed, would use my firearms for protection from harm. i feel that more attention needs to be spent on those dealing with mental illness and pose a throat to others' welfare. we law-abiding citizens don't need more laws to take more freedoms away from us. please, pursue the violators of these crimes and not their
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ill-chosen tools. well said. larry from mexico, missouri, said, guns can do no harm by themselves. they are no more harmful than any large vehicle like a truck or bus that has mass or weight as part of their structure. it's intring that larry would say that because yesterday, i saw a clip on the news of someone who actually went after someone else in a car. the other person was on a bicycle and they tried kill them and they were able to, you know, save the person, thankfully he wasn't hurt but they're still looking for the person in the car. so are we going to ban cars because they could be used to kill people? of course not. because what we need to do is to find the person who was trying to commit the crime. to go on, larry says, sick individuals can take any truck and drive it into a school or mall, killing our loved ones just as a gun can. i do not want anyone to be hurt or die but feel that this path of legislation is wrong.
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as others have suggested, we need to focus on people. people are the motor driving the car, truck, gun, or other object. the focus has to be on helping the mentally ill. jessica from warrensburg said, if a fraction of the time, energy, money, and passion that went into gun control went into establishing a more efficient national or state mental health campaign, perhaps we would have less tragedies involving those who felt hurt or alienated. she said a common phrase is guns don't kill people, people kill people, so what are we doing to help people. i think that brings up the point of mental health issues in our country and how we should be focusing more on the killers and what caused them, led them to do it. what about violent video games? if you look at the newtown connecticut shooter as well as
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the aurora, colorado, shooter, madam speaker, you'll find that both of them spent an inordinate amount of time playing violent video games where they were carrying out scenarios of shooting people. how come we are -- aren't hearing proposals talking about that from gun control advocates or those who say they want to do this to help children. let's get to the heart of the issue here. this ahn adds, the one thing gun control laws have in common is they won't reduce crime. criminals are by definition lawbreakers. they are not deterred by laws against murder, rape, robbery, etc., and won't be affected by additional gun control laws on top of the tens of thousands of existing law we was on the books at every governmental level. again, i urge you to oppose any and all anti-gun legislation that will simply penalize law-abiding gun owners and instead focus on improvements to our nation's mental health systems and enhancing school
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security while respecting our second amendment rights. if the gentleman would like to come back, the gentleman from indiana brought up some really good points a while ago and we share a lot in common, i think we both come from a farm background and we both still have farms today. we both have children's -- children still in school and enjoy sharing our heritage. i know the -- i know, gentleman, that my daughter, we've had a lot of fun with her, teaching her to shoot a gun, going out in our pasture, we've got an area we blocked off and we target shoot, it's a lot of fun. she enjoys it. but just as importantly as how it's enjoyable, i think that just being familiar with guns and for the potential of having self-protection is so important as well. i know you would agree. >> absolutely.
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i think that as payton, our oldest, told us, we gave him a bow and arrow, he has straw bails out back of the -- bales out back of the barn, and any time we he goes out, we say, look what's beyond your target, make sure you're not shooting in a direction toward a house or anyone behind there it does come down to awareness and responsibility and making sure that any time you're shooting whether it's a bow and arrow or whether it's a baseball, for that matter, throwing a baseball or shooting a firearm, this there is an awareness always around you. i know we see a lot of the tragedies that happen in cities, whether it could be from a stray bullet, and that's where we need to continue to focus on those people whether it's through churches, through charityability organizations, through schools, education, and

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